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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Appeals Court Strikes Down Union Poster Rule

May 8, 2013 10:11 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

In another blow to the nation's dwindling labor unions, an appeals court struck down a federal rule that would have required millions of businesses to put up posters informing workers of their right to form a union. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the NLRB violated employers' free speech rights in in trying to force them to display the posters or face charges of committing an unfair labor practice.

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.

Ethiopian Air Wants Compensation For 787 Grounding

May 7, 2013 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines says his company will seek compensation from Boeing for the grounding of its 787 Dreamliner planes. Tewolde Gebremariam told The Associated Press on Tuesday his company will soon start discussions with Boeing over compensation.

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FAA Safety Oversight Of Aircraft Repairs Faulted

May 6, 2013 2:21 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The government's oversight of hundreds of domestic and overseas repair stations that service U.S. airliners is ineffective and doesn't target the factors most likely to present safety risks, the Department of Transportation's inspector general said Monday.

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.

Moberly Dismissed From Mamtek Investor Lawsuit

May 6, 2013 10:20 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The city of Moberly and its industrial development agency have been dismissed from a civil lawsuit filed by spurned investors in the failed Mamtek artificial sweetener factory. The Columbia Daily Tribune reported that a Cole County judge on April 25 dismissed the city and the Moberly Industrial Development Authority from a 2012 suit filed by Shelter Insurance Cos. and the Waddell & Reed investment brokerage.

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.

LA Gov: $340M More From BP For Gulf Restoration

May 3, 2013 9:50 am | by Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press | News | Comments

BP PLC has agreed to pay $340 million to restore four of the barrier islands that act as hurricane buffers for Louisiana's mainland and create two fish research hatcheries in the state, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Tuesday. The money is part of $1 billion the oil giant agreed two years ago to pay for early restoration work after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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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.

Judge Gives Major Break In GM Theft Case

May 2, 2013 2:13 pm | by Ed White, Associated Press | News | Comments

A former General Motors engineer convicted of stealing thousands of pages of hybrid technology was sentenced Wednesday to just a year and a day in prison, far below the punishment sought by the government in a case that involved her husband and an alleged scheme to take the trade secrets to China.

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.

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.

GE Sues Utility As Dredging Restarts On Hudson

April 30, 2013 1:44 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

General Electric Co. said it sued a utility for a share of costs associated with the $1 billion-plus Superfund cleanup of the upper Hudson River on Monday, the day the fourth season of dredging began to remove contaminated sediment from the river.

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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.

GM Wants Tough Punishment In Hybrid Secrets Theft

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

General Motors Co. wants a long prison sentence next week for a former employee and her husband who were convicted of stealing hybrid vehicle technology for potential use by competitors in China. Trade secrets were found on at least seven computers owned by ex-GM engineer Shanshan Du and Yu Qin, according to prosecutors.

Oil Spill Judge: What Is Gross Negligence?

April 26, 2013 10:24 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The judge who will allocate responsibility for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has told lawyers to give him their views about whether a series of negligent acts can add up to gross negligence. The Justice Department and private plaintiffs' attorneys contend that BP PLC acted with gross negligence before the blowout on April 20, 2010. If U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier agrees, BP's civil penalties could soar.

Japan To Allow Airlines To Resume 787 Flights

April 26, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Japan's transport minister said Friday the government is poised to allow Japanese airlines to resume flying grounded Boeing 787s once they complete installation of systems to reduce fire risk in problematic lithium ion batteries. The approval could come as early as Friday evening following an expected formal safety order from the U.S. federal regulators, Transport Minister Akihiro Ohta said.

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.

OSHA: OH Plant 'Could Have Prevented' Worker Death

April 25, 2013 2:09 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal agency has cited an Ohio aluminum plant with eight safety violations following the death of a worker who was crushed by a hot metal rack stacked with heavy aluminum. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, said Thursday that Extrudex Aluminum acted with knowing disregard or plain indifference to hazards at the company's plant in North Jackson in northeastern Ohio.

DMV Denies Tesla Request To Run Its Own Dealership

April 24, 2013 2:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Virginia officials have rejected a request from electric car maker Tesla Motors to operate its own dealership at a Tysons Corner mall. State law requires manufacturers to sell cars through a dealer, unless the manufacturer can show that no dealer is available.

SC Governor Signs Boeing Incentives Bill

April 24, 2013 10:10 am | by Seanna Adcox, Associated Press | News | Comments

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Tuesday signed legislation to provide $120 million in incentives to the Boeing Co. for its expansion plans in the state. "Boeing is a part of the fabric of South Carolina, and this solidifies our relationship with Boeing going forward," Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey said.

U.S. To Seek Limits On Car Touchscreens

April 23, 2013 2:16 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. traffic safety regulators are expected to propose stronger measures to keep drivers from being distracted by in-car touchscreens. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administrator David Strickland have scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon to address distracted driving.

EEOC Seeks Damages For Disabled IA Plant Workers

April 23, 2013 2:14 pm | by Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press | News | Comments

A now-defunct Texas company that put mentally disabled men to work at an Iowa turkey plant for decades is due in court to defend itself against allegations that it subjected the men to physical and verbal abuse. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Henry's Turkey Service on behalf of 32 former workers.

U.S. High Court To Look At Daimler Appeal

April 23, 2013 2:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Supreme Court says it will hear an appeal from automaker Daimler AG that seeks to shut down a U.S. lawsuit over allegations that its unit in Argentina played a role in that country's 'dirty war" in the 1970s. The justices said Monday they will review a federal appeals court ruling that allowed a lawsuit filed by 22 Argentines in California to proceed.

Energy Dept. Seizes $21M From Electric Car Maker

April 23, 2013 10:30 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Obama administration has seized $21 million from troubled automaker Fisker Automotive Inc. just weeks after the company laid off three-fourths of its workers amid continuing financial and production problems. Fisker had received $192 million in federal loans before a series of problems led U.S. officials to freeze the loan in 2011.

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