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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

First Workers Move Into New CAT Plant

March 12, 2013 10:25 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The first group of Caterpillar workers is moving in to office space at the company's new Georgia plant. The Athens Banner-Herald reports that the 850,000-square-foot facility is now home to 50 workers. They moved in to the new space less than a year after the official groundbreaking for the plant in Bogart, just west of Athens.

Analyst: Drop In Unemployment Good For Automakers

March 8, 2013 2:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Sterne Agee analyst said auto sales have been strongly tied to the unemployment rate for years, and that makes February's drop in the jobless rate to 7.7 percent good news for automakers.  Michael Ward said the unemployment rate has been an indicator of vehicle demand for the past 30 years, and the trend continues to hold up now.

Small Businesses Feel Sequester Pinch

March 8, 2013 1:45 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

The automatic sequester budget cuts are expected to slash $43 billion in defense spending over the next seven months - 8 percent of the Pentagon's budget. And, as CBS News' Ben Tracy reports, that will impact thousands of small businesses that work in the defense industry.

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Italy Protests Bridgestone Tire Plant Closure

March 8, 2013 10:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Italy's labor minister is criticizing a decision by the Bridgestone tire company to close a plant in southern Italy as "serious and without reason." Corrado Passera protested in a letter to the Japanese company, released by the labor ministry Thursday, that the company had failed to work with authorities to find another solution.

Google Cutting 1,200 More Motorola Jobs

March 8, 2013 10:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Google is cutting an additional 1,200 jobs in its Motorola division as the unprofitable cellphone maker struggles to compete. Last year, Google Inc. announced 4,000 Motorola job cuts. The latest reductions are in addition to those and will be in countries including the U.S., China and India.

Weekly Unemployment Claims Fall To 340,000

March 7, 2013 12:27 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Labor Department says applications fell 7,000 in the week ended March 2. That's near five-year lows reached in January. And the four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped 7,000 to 348,750. That's the lowest since March 2008, just a few months into the Great Recession.

Preparing A Workforce For Advanced Manufacturing

March 4, 2013 2:43 pm | by Science Nation | Videos | Comments

The Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program at the National Science Foundation (NSF) focuses on the education of technicians for high technology fields. ATE supports rigorous educational programs that incorporate industry recognized skills and competencies to prepare a qualified technical workforce for industries that are vitally important to the nation's prosperity and security.

Tyson To Close Springdale Plant, Move Workers

March 4, 2013 10:16 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tyson Foods has announced plans to close its small processing plant in Springdale. The company announced this week that "changing demand for certain specialty products" led to the decision to shut down the plant. The company says the plant's about 60 hourly workers will be offered jobs at other company locations in Springdale and northwest Arkansas.

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GM's Opel, Employees Seal Deal On German Plant

March 1, 2013 10:22 am | by Geir Moulson, Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors Co.'s Opel unit reached a deal with its employee council on Thursday to keep car production going at a troubled German plant until the end of 2016, after which it hopes to keep the site open as a components factory. The announcement followed long-running and sometimes rancorous negotiations on a turnaround plan for GM's struggling European unit.

Boeing Cuts Back On Contract Workers At SC Plant

March 1, 2013 10:20 am | by Bruce Smith, Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing is trimming the number of temporary contract workers employed at its South Carolina assembly plant. The company says the reductions have been planned for some time and have nothing to do with battery problems in its 787 jetliners. Spokeswoman Candy Eslinger says the North Charleston plant employs more than 6,100 workers including regular employees and contract workers.

Chrysler To Invest $374M In The U.S.

February 28, 2013 2:16 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Chrysler said it will invest nearly $400M and create 1,250 new jobs at transmission and metal casting factories in the Kokomo, Indiana, area. CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed that Chrysler will spend $162M and add 850 new jobs at a former Getrag Transmission plant in nearby Tipton. The company will spend another $212M for equipment and tooling at three other factoring, creating 400 new jobs.

Caterpillar To Cut 1,400 Belgium Jobs

February 28, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Construction equipment maker Caterpillar says it will cut more than one in three jobs at its Belgian plant because of high labor costs and sluggish growth in its European market. Caterpillar Inc. says Thursday it plans to cut 1,400 of the 3,400 jobs at its Gosselies plant south of Brussels alongside other measures aimed at restoring the site's competitiveness.

Sequester Defense Cuts To Impact Thousands In AL

February 28, 2013 1:13 pm | by NBC News | Videos | Comments

If lawmakers cannot find a way to avoid the sequester, thousands of workers at the Anniston Army Depot and Redstone Arsenal in Alabama will take a pay cut. The effect would be particularly devastating in Huntsville, AL, because the local economy is so dependent on Redston.

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School Helps Bring Manufacturing Jobs Back To The U.S.

February 27, 2013 3:51 pm | by AFTHQ | Videos | Comments

Austin Polytechnical Academy was founded as a partnership between labor and business to train students for high-end manufacturing jobs that often remain unfilled for lack of trained talent. The goal of this school is to educate students in all areas of manufacturing.

ND Supreme Court: Sugar Workers Can Get Benefits

February 27, 2013 2:24 pm | by Kristi Eaton, Associated Press | News | Comments

More than 400 American Crystal Sugars workers in North Dakota who are locked out in a contract dispute are eligible for unemployment benefits, the state Supreme Court ruled. The decision reverses a lower court's ruling that said the workers were not eligible for benefits from Job Service North Dakota because state law prohibits unemployment insurance for workers involved in labor disputes.

Obama Warns Spending Cuts Could Idle Shipbuilder

February 26, 2013 2:13 pm | by Nedra Pickler, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama is arguing that looming government-wide spending cuts could idle military resources like naval aircraft carriers, while Republicans are criticizing the president for taking his arguments outside Washington instead of staying to work out a plan before Friday's deadline.

In Grim French North, Worker Unrest Looks To Last

February 26, 2013 10:30 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Workers at a dying French tire factory who've become the butt of American jokes are staging a day of last-ditch protests to try to save their jobs. The protests Tuesday at the Goodyear plant in the northern city of Amiens come after efforts to find a new buyer for the struggling plant have fizzled.

Judge Rules For Pearl River Co. In Plant Dispute

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

A Pearl River County judge has ruled against a group of residents who sought to block development of five acres near the construction site of a sand drying plant in Pearl River County. The Alliance Consulting Group is locating the plant on 30 acres between Nicholson and Picayune. The $30 million plant will service the oil industry. It will create 40-to-50 jobs.

New Poll Shows Wide Support To Hike Minimum Wage

February 25, 2013 12:56 pm | by NBC News | Videos | Comments

NBC News contributor and formed chief economist to Vice President Biden, Jared Bernstein discusses the big debate over the benefits of raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour. A new poll finds wide support for raising the minimum wage by a nearly 3:1 margin.

CAT Considers Closing Central PA Plant

February 22, 2013 2:14 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Heavy machinery manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. is considering closing its distribution facility in central Pennsylvania. The York Distribution Center in Springettsbury Township employs 250 people. Caterpillar spokesman Jim Dugan says the workers were notified in September about the possibility the facility could move elsewhere in the eastern U.S.

Ford Adds 450 Jobs At Cleveland Plant

February 22, 2013 12:00 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Ford's Americas President Joe Hinrichs talks with CNNMoney about Ford's plan to bring manufacturing back to the United States, Ford's eco-boost engine overcapacity in Europe, and the growing North American demand for the eco-boost engines. This growing demand for fuel-efficient vehicles has prompted Ford to expand engine production in the U.S., adding 450 jobs at one of the company's Ohio plants.

Vestas To Cut 10 Percent Of CO Work Force

February 21, 2013 4:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

More layoffs are coming to wind turbine manufacturer Vestas. The company announced Thursday it was cutting about 10 percent of its manufacturing work force in Colorado. It blamed the battle in Congress over a tax credit for wind generators. Congress last month granted a last-minute one-year extension of the $12 billion credit.

U.S. CEO Ridicules French Workers As Time-Wasting

February 21, 2013 4:23 pm | by Thomas Adamson, Associated Press | News | Comments

A straight-talking U.S. businessman and a European socialist government were never likely to become the firmest of friends, but a letter from Maurice Taylor, CEO of tire-maker Titan International, blasting the French work-ethic has ruffled France's feathers.

Anger After U.S. Boss Insults France's Workers

February 21, 2013 4:23 pm | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

French workers have hit back at scathing comments made about them by an American tycoon. Maurice Taylor, the CEO of U.S. tire company Titan International told France's industry minister in a letter published by French media that he didn't want to take over a struggling tire plant as the workforce ''works only three hours.''

Ex-Hostess Brands Workers Eligible For Federal Aid

February 20, 2013 1:42 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Iowa workers who lost jobs when Hostess Brands went out of business are eligible for federal income, training and job search benefits. The maker of Twinkies and other snacks ceased operations in November, laying off dozens of workers at a Waterloo bakery and distribution center, as well as truck drivers and local retail employees in Iowa.

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