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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

U.S.: Bangladesh Must Do More To Regain Trade Perk

February 11, 2014 11:37 am | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press | News | Comments

Washington suspended the benefits last June, two months after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Dhaka that killed 1,129 people. The disaster put a grim spotlight on low wages and lax safety in the impoverished nation's lucrative apparel business that exports nearly $5 billion annually to the U.S.

U.S. Job Openings Fall From 5-Year High

February 11, 2014 11:02 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in December and hiring slowed, adding to evidence that the job market weakened that month. November's total was the first time that available jobs had topped 4 million since March 2008.     

OSHA Cites La. Company For Health Violations

February 11, 2014 8:38 am | News | Comments

A flavoring manufacturer in Oakdale has been cited by the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration after a fire last year severely burned a worker. OSHA on Monday cited Carol Callahan, doing business as Natural Advantage, for 19 serious violations at the facility. Proposed penalties total $91,000.

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Manufacturing Decline Is A Misconception

February 10, 2014 3:14 pm | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

There is still a far greater emotional response to a factory closing than to an engineering firm opening. It’s not that plant closings are trivial, or that engineering is somehow superior. But there may be a problem with our focus on factories in that it takes energy away from aggressively developing more advanced services.

Tenn. Lawmakers: VW Incentives Threatened By UAW

February 10, 2014 2:34 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

State Senate Speaker Pro Tem Bo Watson in a news conference in Chattanooga on Monday called the United Auto Workers campaign at the plant "un-American." He said a vote in favor of the union would lead the wide GOP majorities in the state Legislature to take a dim view of future incentives aimed at expanding production.

Lawyer: Owners Not Liable For Bangladesh Factory Fire

February 10, 2014 8:15 am | by Julhas Alam, Associated Press | News | Comments

Delwar Hossain, managing director of Tazreen Fashions Ltd., and his wife surrendered to authorities Sunday after being charged with culpable homicide in December. The case is the first of its kind against an owner in Bangladesh's powerful garment industry, which has a huge influence in the country's affairs from politics to sports.

Manufacturing.net Rewind: $5M For A Toilet Prank; U.S. Vehicle Recalls Surge

February 7, 2014 2:13 pm | News | Comments

Check out some of this week's top headlines from across Manufacturing.net, from Biden and a war on labor to craft beer delivered by drones. Also, eating too much sugar can lead to fatal heart problems, and labor regulators are trying once again to streamline the process in which workers decide whether to join labor unions.

U.S. Employers Add 113K Jobs; Rate Dips To 6.6 Pct.

February 7, 2014 8:46 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The Labor Department says employers added 113,000 jobs, less than the average monthly gain of 194,000 in 2013. This follows December's tepid increase of just 75,000. Job gains have averaged only 154,000 the past three months, down from 201,000 in the preceding three months.

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Oreo Maker Mondelez To Close Philly Bakery

February 7, 2014 8:09 am | News | Comments

Mondelez International Inc., the maker of Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers, said Thursday that it will close a Philadelphia bakery by 2015 as part of a plan to restructure its supply chain and save money. The Deerfield, Ill.-based snack food maker said the closing will affect about 350 employees.

UAW Critics Take Differing Approaches To VW Vote

February 7, 2014 8:07 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, who last year declared that the German automaker would become a "laughingstock" if it opened its doors to the UAW, has announced he won't weigh in until after the three-day vote beginning Wednesday.      

Unemployment Bill Stalled Again In Senate

February 7, 2014 8:01 am | News | Comments

Republicans have blocked legislation from advancing in the Senate to restore benefits for the long-term unemployed. It's the second time this year that Democrats have sought to move the bill along, and they say they will try again.    

S.Korea Court Invalidates Ssangyong Layoffs

February 7, 2014 7:59 am | by Youkyung Lee, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

A South Korean appeal court said the layoff of 153 employees at Ssangyong Motor Co. in 2009 was unjustified, in a belated victory for auto workers who fought pitched battles with riot police at the time. The 153 were among 2,600 workers that Ssangyong tried to shed in 2009, sparking South Korea's worst labor strife in years.

Sony To Cut 5,000 Jobs By March 2015

February 6, 2014 2:25 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The company said it's cutting its global workforce by about 3 percent or 5,000 people by the end of March 2015 as it restructures its PC, television and other businesses. That comes on top of the 10,000 jobs cuts Sony announced over the previous year.

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N.C. Would 'Do Anything' For Boeing Plant; 7K Jobs

February 6, 2014 2:01 pm | by Emery P. Dalesio, Associated Press | News | Comments

Assembling one of the largest package of tax breaks and other incentives in North Carolina history earned the state consideration for as many as 7,250 Boeing aircraft manufacturing jobs — but its $683 million offer was dwarfed by Washington state's winning promise of nearly $9 billion in corporate sweeteners.

Applications For U.S. Jobless Aid Fall To 331K

February 6, 2014 12:49 pm | by Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits declined 20,000 last week to 331,000, suggesting that Americans are facing fewer layoffs and better job prospects. The Labor Department said the four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up 250 to 334,000.

U.S. Productivity Grew At 3.2 Percent Rate In 4Q

February 6, 2014 10:44 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Productivity grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the October-December period, down slightly from a 3.6 percent growth rate in the third quarter, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Labor costs fell at a 1.6 percent rate in the fourth quarter after an even bigger 2 percent rate of decline in the third quarter.

Volvo To Cut 4,400 Jobs In 2014

February 6, 2014 8:02 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press | News | Comments

Volvo CEO Olof Persson said the job losses, which include the previously announced reduction of 2,000, will affect employees worldwide in group truck operations, as well as in technology, sales, marketing, IT, finance and human resource departments.

Biden Warns Of War On Labor, Says Outlook Is Dim

February 5, 2014 2:33 pm | by Josh Lederman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Vice President says a concerted war on labor threatens to drastically weaken the bargaining power of American unions. Biden spoke to an annual conference of the United Auto Workers. He says the Chamber of Commerce and right-to-work committees are leading parts of the American business to wage a concerted war on collective bargaining.

Wis. Plan For Worker Training Gets Support

February 5, 2014 11:05 am | by Scott Bauer, Associated Press | News | Comments

The measure would use the money to eliminate waiting lists for high-demand fields such as manufacturing and computer technology at technical colleges, help high school students get trained for high-demand jobs through dual enrollment programs, and support programs that help people with disabilities find work.

Labor Board Tries Again To Change Union Rules

February 5, 2014 8:51 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

The National Labor Relations Board proposed rules Wednesday that would allow unions to hold workplace elections more quickly. That could make it easier for unions to organize and help them reverse decades of steep membership declines.    

Survey: Companies Add 175,000 Jobs In January

February 5, 2014 8:38 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Payroll processor ADP says companies added 175,000 jobs last month. That's down from 227,000 in December, which was revised lower. But it was much better than the government's official figure of just 74,000 new jobs in December.    

4 Workers Injured In Refinery Explosion In 2011 File Lawsuit

February 5, 2014 8:02 am | News | Comments

Kimberly Janvier, Irene Rombaut, Shawn Farrell and Sylvan Blake were working at the Co-Op refinery on Oct. 6, 2011 when the explosion occurred. They say that they all suffered severe physical injuries in the blast and they and their family members also suffered severe emotional distress and anxiety after the explosion.

Kellogg To Close N.C. Plant, Cut Nearly 200 Jobs

February 5, 2014 7:53 am | News | Comments

Kellogg Co. says it plans to close its Charlotte snack factory as part of an effort to cut costs, eliminating nearly 200 jobs. The Charlotte plant produces cookies including Famous Amos, Austin Sandwich Creme and Iced Animals.    

Manufacturing Economic Environment Is A ‘Concern’

February 4, 2014 3:24 pm | by Melissa Barnes, Associate Editor, PD&D | Articles | Comments

The Manufacturing Institute recently honored Denise Stanislawczyk, Operations Manager of ABB’s Measurement Products, with the Women in Manufacturing STEP Award. In this interview, Denise discusses women's place in the field, current challenges in the industry, and how those challenges might be overcome.

Volkswagen's Tenn. Workers To Vote On Union

February 3, 2014 1:55 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The United Auto Workers says employees at Volkswagen's workers Chattanooga, Tenn., plant will vote Feb. 12-14 on whether they want the union to represent them. The vote follows an agreement between the UAW and the Germany-based automaker, which decided not to challenge a unionization vote.

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