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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

NTSB Probes Safety Testing Of Boeing 787 Batteries

April 23, 2013 10:28 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

As airlines prepare to resume flying Boeing's beleaguered 787 Dreamliners, federal investigators looked Tuesday at how regulators and the company tested and approved the plane's cutting-edge battery system, and whether the government cedes too much safety-testing authority to aircraft makers.

FL Gov. Making Strong Push For Tax Break

April 23, 2013 10:20 am | by Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press | News | Comments

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is making personal pitches to lawmakers in pushing for a late breakthrough to exempt manufacturers from paying sales taxes on equipment purchases, one of his legislative priorities this year. The governor is meeting with lawmakers to pitch his idea of boosting Florida's manufacturing sector by giving manufacturers a blanket exemption from paying a 6 percent sales tax on equipment purchases, allies said.

Court Denies Beechcraft Challenge Of Lost Contract

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

Kansas airplane maker Beechcraft has lost a legal battle to halt work on a high-stakes Air Force contract awarded to rival Sierra Nevada Corp. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Friday denied Beechcraft's request for a temporary injunction. The contract for 20 planes for use in Afghanistan is worth more than $427 million. It could be worth as much as $1 billion, depending on future orders.

Haliburton Seeking Settlement Over Gulf Oil Spill

April 22, 2013 2:12 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

BP's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 announced Monday that it is trying to negotiate a settlement over its role in the disaster, a focus of trial testimony that ended last week. Halliburton Chief Financial Officer Mark McCollum said during a conference call to discuss first-quarter earnings that talks were at an "advanced stage."

FAA Approves Resumption Of Boeing 787 Flights

April 22, 2013 10:13 am | by Joan Lowy, Joshua Freed, Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing's beleaguered 787 could be flying again within a week after federal officials approved a fix for its batteries, even though the root cause of a fire on one plane and smoke on another still isn't known. The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it would send airlines instructions and publish a notice next week lifting the 3-month-old grounding order that day.

Cement Maker Fined, To Cut Emissions At CO Plant

April 22, 2013 10:06 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A cement manufacturer in Lyons has agreed to pay a $1 million fine and to install controls to decrease its emissions of the pollutant nitrogen oxide, the U.S. Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday. The EPA had accused Cemex, Inc., which operates the Portland cement facility, of illegally modifying its Lyons plant in a way that increased the amount of nitrogen oxide the facility released.

OSHA Last Inspected TX Fertilizer Plant In 1985

April 19, 2013 10:15 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration most recently inspected the Texas fertilizer plant that exploded Wednesday night in 1985. Records reviewed by The Associated Press show that OSHA issued the West Chemical & Fertilizer Co., as the plant was called at the time, a $30 fine for a serious violation for storage of anhydrous ammonia.

White House Threatens Veto On Cybersecurity Bill

April 17, 2013 2:05 pm | by Anne Flaherty, Josh Lederman, Associated Press | News | Comments

The White House on Tuesday threatened a veto against a House bill intended to improve cybersecurity through information-sharing, warning lawmakers that the president won't sign the measure unless changes are made to protect privacy and civil liberties.

No Helmets Required For Elio Vehicle Under Bill

April 17, 2013 10:09 am | by Littice Bacon-Blood, Associated Press | News | Comments

The House Transportation Committee backed a proposal Tuesday that would pave the way for the production of a three-wheeled vehicle called the Elio by removing the requirement that occupants wear helmets. Officials with Elio Motors, located in the former General Motors plant in Shreveport, said the helmet requirement could harm sales by sending a signal to consumers that the vehicle was unsafe.

AR Legislature Approves Steel Mill Funding

April 16, 2013 2:12 pm | by Michael Stratford, Associated Press | News | Comments

Arkansas is set to provide a new steel company with $125 million in financing and a package of tax breaks to build a mill in the northeast part of the state after the Legislature gave final approval to the plan on Tuesday. By an 81-9 vote, House lawmakers passed a Senate-approved budget bill to support Big River Steel.

EU Lawmakers Veto Tighter Cap-And-Trade System

April 16, 2013 10:16 am | by Juergen Baetz, Associated Press | News | Comments

European lawmakers dealt a blow to one of Europe's flagship policies on fighting climate change when they voted Tuesday against tightening the bloc's system of making companies pay for pollution. The European Union cap-and-trade system — the world's biggest — was introduced in 2005 in the hope of encouraging industries to reduce emissions and invest in greener technologies.

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