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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Siemens Launches Job Training Program For U.S. Vets

May 8, 2013 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A job training initiative is being offered in the Detroit area to help military veterans with engineering and manufacturing backgrounds transition to the civilian workforce. Siemens Corp. says the program was launched by Siemens' product lifecycle management software business in 22 cities across the country.

U.S. Job Postings Fell In March; Hiring Slowed

May 7, 2013 2:33 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in March compared with February and slowed overall hiring, underscoring a weak month of job growth. The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings fell 1.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 million jobs. Total hiring declined 4.3 percent to 4.3 million.

Lawsuit: Intel Worker Subjected To 'Kick Me' Prank

May 7, 2013 2:31 pm | by Russell Contreras, Associated Press | News | Comments

Intel workers secretly taped a "Kick Me" sign to the back of a co-worker as a prank, then kicked the confused man a number of times as employees at the Rio Rancho Intel plant laughed hysterically at the episode, according to a federal lawsuit.

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HK Dockworkers Accept Offer, End 40-Day Strike

May 6, 2013 2:19 pm | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Hong Kong dockworkers have accepted a 9.8 percent pay increase, ending a 40-day strike that slowed traffic at one of the world's busiest ports. About 90 percent of the workers voted late Monday in favor of the offer from four middleman contractors that provide staff to a container terminal operator controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing.

GOP Seeks Alternative To Overtime Pay

May 6, 2013 2:17 pm | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

It seems like a simple proposition: give employees who work more than 40 hours a week the option of taking paid time off instead of overtime pay. The choice already exists in the public sector. Federal and state workers can save earned time off and use it weeks or even months later to attend a parent-teacher conference, care for an elderly parent or deal with home repairs.

Adidas: Asia Laborers Can Send Complaints Via Text

May 6, 2013 2:16 pm | by Juergen Baetz, Associated Press | News | Comments

German sports gear maker Adidas said Monday it is encouraging workers in factories of some of its Asian suppliers to anonymously share possible grievances directly with the company via text message. The new hotline service will help bridge the communication gap between management and workers, enabling employees to "simply send an SMS when they feel their rights are breached," Adidas AG said.

Pressure On Bangladesh, Retailers To Fix Factories

May 6, 2013 2:14 pm | by Farid Hossain, Stephen Wright, Associated Press | News | Comments

In the aftermath of a building collapse that killed more than 530 people, Bangladesh's garment manufacturers may face a choice of reform or perish. The shoddily constructed building's collapse has put a focus on the high human price paid when Bangladeshi government ineptitude, Western consumer apathy and global retailing's drive for the lowest cost of production intersect.

Unemployment At 4-Year Low, Markets At New Highs

May 6, 2013 1:21 pm | by The Associated Press | Videos | Comments

The United States economy showed last month why it remains the envy of industrialized nations: In the face of tax increases and federal spending cuts, employers added a solid 165,000 jobs in April. The U.S. economy is now boasting the lowest unemployment rates in four years.

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China City Quashes Protest Against Petro Plant

May 6, 2013 10:28 am | by Didi Tang, Associated Press | News | Comments

Residents say they are worried the plant would pollute the air and water, and question why the plant is being built in a region prone to earthquakes. Pengzhou is in the same fault zone as the 2008 Wenchuan quake that left 90,000 people dead or missing, and for an earthquake last month that killed at least 196 people.

LG Chem To Begin MI Production In July

May 6, 2013 10:26 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

An advanced battery maker said it plans to launch commercial production of automotive lithium-ion battery cells in southwestern Michigan in July. LG Chem Michigan Inc., a subsidiary of South Korean company LG Chem, announced Sunday night that test runs have begun at the facility in Holland and that it anticipates shipping products by the end of the summer.

CAT To Close Toronto Factory

May 6, 2013 10:25 am | by The Canadian Press | News | Comments

Heavy equipment giant Caterpillar Inc. says it is closing a tunnel-boring machine factory in Toronto by mid-2014, throwing 330 workers out of a job. Caterpillar acquired the facility in 2008 when it bought Lovat Inc. and got into the tunnelling business, but now says the plant is no longer a "strategic growth opportunity" and will be shut down.

ALCOA Expanding TN Plant For Auto Making Needs

May 3, 2013 5:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

ALCOA says resurgent auto manufacturing is creating demand for its aluminum products and it will expand its plant in Tennessee. The Daily Times first reported the company will create 200 new jobs with a $275 million expansion of its rolling mill in Alcoa, Tenn. Some 400 construction jobs will be created in building it.

U.S. Employers Add 165K Jobs In April

May 3, 2013 9:59 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April, and hiring was much stronger in the previous two months than the government first estimated. The job increases helped reduce the unemployment rate from 7.6 percent to a four-year low of 7.5 percent.

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CT Workers Sue Company Over Wages

May 3, 2013 9:58 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Four New Haven workers have filed a federal lawsuit alleging a fiberglass manufacturer and its owner cheated them out of wages. The workers on Thursday sued H&L Plastics of New Haven and its owner, Charles Bolton. They say each worker received no compensation for between five and seventeen weeks of work, or about $20,000.

Juror: EEOC Verdict In Iowa Sends A Message

May 2, 2013 2:14 pm | by Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press | News | Comments

A juror says she wanted to send a message by supporting a historic $240 million verdict for 32 mentally disabled men who faced decades of abuse by a Texas company: Never again. Juror Robin Griebel outlined her rationale for awarding $7.5 million to each former employee of Henry's Turkey Service, while the men, their attorney and relatives celebrated Wednesday's verdict.

Ford Adding 2,000 Workers To MO Plant

May 2, 2013 2:10 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. said Thursday that it's adding 2,000 workers to the Missouri plant that makes the F-150 pickup because of surging U.S. truck demand. The company plans to add a shift with 900 workers in the third quarter of this year to make pickups. That's in addition to the 1,100 workers Ford will hire to make the new Transit van. Those workers will start in the fourth quarter.

Steel Firm To Add Jobs To Supply CAT Plant

May 2, 2013 2:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A steel fabricator plans to add more than 150 jobs over the next three years at its Dawson County plant, company executives said, to supply parts for a new Caterpillar production facility near Athens. The Times of Gainesville reported that Impulse Manufacturing will produce parts for several small excavators that will be produced at the new Caterpillar plant.

The Death Of Innovation, The End Of Growth

May 2, 2013 9:11 am | by Ted | Videos | Comments

The U.S. economy has been expanding wildly for two centuries. Are we witnessing the end of growth? Economist Robert Gordon lays out 4 reasons U.S. growth may be slowing, detailing factors like epidemic debt and growing inequality, which could move the U.S. into a period of stasis we can't innovate our way out of. Be sure to watch the opposing viewpoint from Erik Brynjolfsson.

The Key To Growth? Race With The Machines

May 2, 2013 9:11 am | by Ted | Videos | Comments

As machines take on more jobs, many find themselves out of work or with raises indefinitely postponed. Is this the end of growth? No, says Erik Brynjolfsson -- it’s simply the growing pains of a radically reorganized economy. A riveting case for why big innovations are ahead of us … if we think of computers as our teammates. Be sure to watch the opposing viewpoint from Robert Gordon.

Abused Disabled IA Plant Workers Awarded $240M

May 1, 2013 2:09 pm | by Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press | News | Comments

An Iowa jury on Wednesday awarded a total of $240 million to 32 mentally disabled Iowa turkey processing plant workers for what government lawyers described as years of around-the-clock abuse and discrimination by the Texas company that oversaw their care, work and lodging.

Angry Workers Unite On May Day

May 1, 2013 2:05 pm | by Mehmet Guzel, Suzan Fraser, Associated Press | News | Comments

Workers around the world united in anger during May Day rallies Wednesday — from fury in Europe over years of austerity measures that have cut wages, reduced benefits and eliminated many jobs altogether, to rage in Asia over relentlessly low pay, the rising cost of living and hideous working conditions that have left hundreds dead in recent months alone.

Carpet Company Planning New GA Plants

May 1, 2013 2:00 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal says a carpet manufacturing company will open two plants in northwest Georgia and create about 2,400 jobs. Deal's spokesman Brian Robison confirmed Wednesday that Engineered Floors will build plants in Whitfield and Murray counties.

China Automaker To Open CA Electric Bus Plant

May 1, 2013 10:16 am | by John Rogers, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Chinese company whose mantra is Build Your Dreams plans to build all-electric buses in California's Mojave Desert. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris and officials of BYD Automotive scheduled a news conference Wednesday to announce plans to open the first Chinese-owned vehicle manufacturing plant in the United States in the wind-swept high-desert city 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Jury Deliberates In IA Worker Abuse Case

May 1, 2013 10:12 am | by Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press | News | Comments

A government attorney asked jurors Tuesday to award damages to 32 mentally disabled workers, saying they were subjected to around-the-clock discrimination by a Texas company that profited from their work at an Iowa turkey plant. qual Employment Opportunity Commission attorney Robert Canino said the former workers for Henry's Turkey Services suffered "broken lives" because of the conditions they endured.

Heat, Air Conditioning Maker Expanding Dayton

April 30, 2013 1:41 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Goodman Manufacturing will expand its plant in Dayton, creating 200 new jobs. State and company officials announced Tuesday that Goodman is investing $2 million in the plant in Rhea County, which makes commercial and light commercial heating and air conditioning equipment.

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