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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

Caterpillar To Close Summerville Plant

April 30, 2013 10:11 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Caterpillar says it plans to close its Summerville remanufacturing plant next year, a move that will put 280 people out of work. The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the company said Monday that the decision came after an extensive strategic review of the business.

Japan Manufacturing, Hiring Rise In March

April 30, 2013 10:08 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan manufacturing and employment showed slight improvements in March, buttressing hopes that the economy may be headed for a moderate recovery. Factory output rose 0.2 percent, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Tuesday, in the fourth straight monthly increase. It pointed to strength in chemicals, electrical components, telecommunications equipment and steam turbines.

Yokohama: Tire Demand Calls For U.S. Plant

April 30, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Executives with Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. say they will build a new tire plant in Mississippi because they see a global supply shortage for tires. The company plans to invest $300 million, hiring 500 people, in a first phase, and could invest $1.2 billion, hiring 2,000 people, over time. State and local governments could give more than $340 million in aid and tax breaks.

Goodyear, Union Begin Contract Talks For 6 Plants

April 29, 2013 2:24 pm | by Thomas J. Sheeran, Associated Press | News | Comments

With the backdrop of an uncertain economy, shrinking unions and company cost-cutting, Goodyear and the Steelworkers are negotiating on a new national contract covering 8,000 tire workers at six plants. The first round of talks in Cincinnati ended Thursday and recessed.

MS Lawmakers Pass Incentives For Tire Maker

April 29, 2013 10:09 am | by Jeff Amy, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Japanese company will get incentives that could be worth more than $330 million to build a tire manufacturing plant in Clay County. Mississippi lawmakers quickly passed the bill intended for Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. in a Friday special session, with House members supporting it 117-2 and Senate members supporting it unanimously. The entire session took less than four hours.

Caterpillar Laying Off About 60 At IL Plant

April 26, 2013 5:02 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Caterpillar Inc. is laying off about 60 employees at a plant in central Illinois as the company deals with declining profits. The Journal Star in Peoria reports that Caterpillar said Thursday that it will lay off workers at a foundry in Mapleton starting in early May. The town is just south of Peoria, where Caterpillar is based.

S. Korea Demands Talks With N. Korea On Closed Factory

April 25, 2013 2:16 pm | by Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press | News | Comments

After weeks of threatening rhetoric from the North, South Korea on Thursday promised its own unspecified "grave measures" if Pyongyang rejects talks on a jointly run factory park shuttered for nearly a month. The park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong is the most significant casualty so far in the recent deterioration of relations between the Koreas.

Outokumpu To Cut 2,500 Jobs

April 25, 2013 2:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Finnish metals group Outokumpu Oyj says it will slash 2,500 jobs worldwide in the next four years to cut costs by 350 million euros ($455 million) and improve profitability as stainless steel demand continues to fall. The world's leading stainless steel maker says about a third of the job cuts will be applied this year, mostly in Germany, Sweden and Finland, in line with production capacity reductions and streamlining.

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