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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Gov't Charges Wal-Mart With Labor Violations

January 16, 2014 9:52 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

The National Labor Relations Board says Wal-Mart illegally fired, disciplined, or threatened more than 60 employees in 14 states for participating in legally protected activities to complain about wages and working conditions. The labor board's general counsel first laid out the charges last November, but held off on filing a complaint while trying to work out a settlement with Wal-Mart.

Review: Site's Groundwater, Soil Cleanup Working

January 15, 2014 1:47 pm | by Betsy Blaney, Associated Press | News | Comments

The effort to clean up soil and groundwater contamination at the nation's only plant for assembling and disassembling nuclear weapons has been effective so far and will continue for years, according to the first five-year review of the site.   

Prosecutors Join Forces To Investigate Monster

January 15, 2014 1:36 pm | by Terry Collins, Associated Press | News | Comments

Monster and other popular energy drinks have come under increasing scrutiny. The Food and Drug Administration has been investigating reports of deaths linked to energy drinks, but the agency noted that the reports don't prove the drinks caused the deaths.

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Beet Plant Shut For Inspection After Worker Death

January 15, 2014 9:51 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Western Sugar Cooperative has shut down its sugar beet processing plant in Lovell while federal and state regulators inspect the facility following a fatal accident. Twenty-eight-year-old worker Anfesa Galaktionoff died Jan. 4 after she apparently fell into a piece of equipment that carries sugar beets into the factory.

'Ghost Gun' Regulations Pushed In California Bill

January 14, 2014 10:06 am | by Don Thompson, Associated Press | News | Comments

A state lawmaker proposed legislation Monday to make background checks and gun registrations requirements for anyone who builds plastic firearms on a 3D printer at home. The bill by state Sen. Kevin de Leon also would apply to anyone who buys parts that can be assembled into a gun.

Chinese Shoe Factory Fire Kills At Least 16

January 14, 2014 10:02 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A fire at a shoe factory in eastern China on Tuesday killed at least 16 people, state media reported. The blaze broke out at the Dadong factory in the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province, state broadcaster CCTV said. Firefighters put it out about three hours later and rescued more than 20 people, it said.

Calif. Company Recalls 40,000 Lbs. Of Meat

January 14, 2014 9:51 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Northern California company has recalled more than 40,000 pounds of meat products because it was produced without a full federal inspection. The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Monday that Rancho Feeding Corporation of Petaluma, Calif., recalled 41,683 pounds of meat products.

Honeywell: Company Cooperating With DOJ Probe

January 13, 2014 9:37 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Defense contractor Honeywell International Inc. said Sunday it is cooperating with a Department of Justice probe into the overseas production of equipment it provided for a U.S. fighter jet. The government inquiry involves electronics that Honeywell manufactured for the government's new F-35 fighter planes, which are designed to be the military's most advanced combat jets

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Tyson Foods Recalls 33K Pounds Of Chicken Product

January 13, 2014 9:31 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tyson Foods is recalling nearly 34,000 pounds of mechanically separated chicken products that may be contaminated with a strain of salmonella. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday in a news release the product was not sold in retail stores. It was produced on Oct. 11 and shipped nationwide for institutional use.

Spirit Of Cooperation Frays In Fracking Debate

January 10, 2014 1:12 pm | by Tammy Webber, Associated Press | News | Comments

After environmentalists, lawmakers, and the oil industry got together last year to draft Illinois' first regulations for hydraulic fracturing, the rest was supposed to be easy. The unusual collaboration was praised as a potential model for other states and a rare example of political foes finding common ground on a complex issue.

CareFusion To Pay $40.1M In False Claims Case

January 10, 2014 10:02 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

CareFusion Corp. has agreed to pay $40.1 million to settle allegations it paid kickbacks and promoted its medical technology products for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.                 

China Blames Leaking, Sparks For Deadly Oil Blast

January 9, 2014 1:40 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A November pipeline explosion in northern China that killed 62 people was caused by sparks from a jackhammer igniting oil that had leaked into the sewage system, revealing major vulnerabilities in China's aging pipeline network, government safety officials said Thursday.

Food Companies Cut 6.4 Trillion Calories

January 9, 2014 1:37 pm | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press | News | Comments

The study sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that between 2007 and 2012 the companies reduced their products' calories by the equivalent of around 78 calories per person per day. The total is more than four times the amount those companies had pledged to cut by next year.

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Alcoa Subsidiary Pleads Guilty To Bahrain Bribery

January 9, 2014 12:03 pm | by Joe Mandak, Associated Press | News | Comments

A subsidiary of Alcoa Inc. has pleaded guilty and the company will pay $384 million for paying bribes to the Middle Eastern Kingdom of Bahrain through a London-based middleman. The corporate secretary for Alcoa World Alumina LLC pleaded guilty on behalf of the company on Thursday in federal court in Pittsburgh.

Blast At Japan Chemical Plant Kills 5, Injures 17

January 9, 2014 9:48 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

An explosion at a chemical factory in central Japan on Thursday killed at least five workers and injured 17 others, authorities said. Investigators suspect chemical reaction involving hydrogen caused the blast at metal and chemical company Mitsubishi Materials Corp.'s Yokkaichi plant, about 350 kilometers (220 miles) west of Tokyo.

EU Makes Carbon Pollution More Expensive

January 8, 2014 1:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Union says it is beefing up its carbon trading system to make it more expensive for utilities and other businesses to burn fossil fuels. EU officials on Wednesday voted for a proposal that ended a year of bickering over how to amend what is Europe's prime tool in the fight against climate change.

Judge Ups Lead Paint Verdict To $1.15B

January 8, 2014 9:24 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James P. Kleinberg on Tuesday issued a final verdict ordering Sherwin Williams, National Lead, and ConAgra to pay $1.15 billion after finding that the companies knew the paint was harmful to children.   

Horse Slaughterhouse To Sue N.M. AG For Slander

January 7, 2014 9:40 am | by Jeri Clausing, Associated Press | News | Comments

The owners of a Roswell company mired in legal disputes over its attempts to resume domestic horse slaughter have notified New Mexico Attorney General Gary King they intend to sue his office for slander, harassment, conspiracy, and abuse of process. Valley Meat Co. attorney Blair Dunn Monday sent letters to the state risk management division, giving the required 30-day notice of its planned legal filing.

Emergent Biosolutions Wins 2013 North American Maintenance Excellence Award

January 3, 2014 10:47 am | by The Foundation for Industrial Maintenance Excellence and Emergent Biosolutions | Blogs | Comments

Emergent BioSolutions announced that its facility in Lansing, Michigan has been recognized with the 2013 North American Maintenance Excellence (NAME) Award by the Foundation for Industrial Maintenance Excellence. The NAME Award honors North American organizations that excel in performing maintenance processes that enable operational excellence.

Wal-Mart Eyes Legal Action Over Fox In Donkey Meat

January 3, 2014 9:57 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it's considering taking legal action against "responsible parties" after DNA testing showed traces of fox meat in the donkey meat it sold in China.                      

Gun Firm Makes Good On Leaving Colo. Over Gun Laws

January 3, 2014 9:53 am | by Bob Moen, Associated Press | News | Comments

Erie, Colo.-based Magpul Industries announced Thursday that it was moving its production, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne and its headquarters to Texas, making good on a vow it made to leave Colorado during last year's heated gun control debate.

A Look At What 2014 May Hold For Small Businesses

January 2, 2014 1:23 pm | by Joyce M. Rosenberg, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

What stresses small business owners the most? Our conversations with them and the research we come across suggest it's a lack of clarity. Well, there's no small business crystal ball — at least one we are aware of — but if one existed, here's a look at what it might reveal for 2014:

Ill. Chemical Plant Unit Down Pending Fire Probe

January 2, 2014 1:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the Cook County judge on Tuesday granted a preliminary injunction against Blue Island Phenol in suburban Alsip. It requires the company to investigate the cause of the Dec. 13 explosion and fire that injured two workers and identify corrective measures.

Hyundai, Kia To Pay Millions In Fuel Settlement

December 26, 2013 9:35 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Hyundai and its sister company Kia say they'll pay up to $395 million to consumers as part of a proposed settlement over overstated gas mileage.  The automakers faced lawsuits after they acknowledged in November that they had overstated the fuel economy of some of its vehicles. 

10 Years After Mad Cow, Little Change On Tracking

December 23, 2013 10:37 am | by Ross Courtney, Yakima Herald-Republic | News | Comments

But 10 years ago Monday, it took just one cow to send shock waves through the cattle industry of the United States, home to some 100 million cattle, slam the door on billions of dollars in exports and scare a lot of beef eaters.       

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