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March 29, 2012 | By Andrea Chang
An investigation into the Chinese factories that produce Apple products found “significant issues with working conditions," according to a report released by a labor watchdog group. The Fair Labor Assn. said Thursday that it had conducted a thorough inspection of three factories in China operated by Foxconn, a major supplier, and had secured “groundbreaking commitments” that will reduce working hours, improve health and safety conditions and “establish a genuine voice for workers.” The group said it would continue to monitor the factories.
April 23, 2014 | By Charles Fleming
Is Tesla going to be manufacturing more cars or car parts at a new facility? The electric car company won't comment specifically, but city officials in tiny Lathrop, Calif., say work is underway converting a 431,000-square-foot facility that once housed a Chrysler-Daimler distribution center into a Tesla factory. Lathrop City Manager Steve Salvatore, confirming the arrival of Tesla in his small town of 19,000, said the company had indicated it will be hiring 100 to 125 workers, to start, and is likely to hire more.
January 27, 2012 | By David Sarno, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Apple Inc.'s chief executive responded to a wave of negative attention to conditions at overseas factories that make its products, saying the insinuation that Apple doesn't care about the welfare of its workers is "offensive. " "Unfortunately, some people are questioning Apple's values today," Tim Cook wrote in an e-mail to Apple employees. "Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. " A series of articles in the New York Times has brought new focus on Apple's highly profitable production strategy, which relies heavily on Chinese workers who live in dormlike factories and spend many hours assembling devices.
April 22, 2014 | By Frank Shyong, Los Angeles Times
After months of heated negotiations with the city of Irwindale over the smell of Sriracha hot sauce, Huy Fong Foods Chief Executive David Tran is appealing to a higher power: a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Los Angeles) visited the hot sauce factory Tuesday and spoke with Tran about potentially relocating to the San Fernando Valley. Cardenas is one of dozens of politicians nationwide who have publicly invited Sriracha to locate within their jurisdiction.
February 13, 2012 | By David Sarno
Apple has responded to a wave of criticism of its labor practices in China by joining an industry-funded labor monitoring organization that will conduct extensive audits of factories run by Apple's Chinese manufacturing partners.  The Fair Labor Assn. audits would including the vast Foxconn facilities in Shenzhen and Chengdu that employ hundreds of thousands of workers, and which have been the locus of a number of worker safety problems in recent years. Last May, a fire at one of the plants killed four and injured nearly 20 workers, and in 2010, 13 Foxconn employees jumped to their deaths from factory rooftops.
March 10, 2010 | By Don Lee
Improbable as it seems, the brightest spot so far in the nation's spotty economic recovery is a sector long considered all but dead -- good-old-fashioned manufacturing. Factories are churning. Exports are up. Even though jobs are the bleakest aspect of the overall economy these days, factory payrolls have turned positive. "We could have a renaissance here," said Ron Bloom, President Obama's manufacturing czar. "Indeed," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke declared late last month, "manufacturing has been leading the recovery so far."
November 15, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
While most of the country will head routinely to work Friday, workers at General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group will get the day off. Why? It's the start of deer-hunting season, a peculiar benefits quirk stemming from collective bargaining, corporate needs and Midwestern outdoors culture. During contract negotiations in the late 1990s, the automakers agreed to make Veterans Day a paid day off - but with a catch. The United Auto Workers didn't necessarily want to celebrate Veterans Day. Rather, its members wanted a flexible day off in November about the time hunting season starts.
November 3, 2008 | Don Lee
First, Tao Shoulong burned his company's financial books. He then sold his private golf club memberships and disposed of his Mercedes S-600 sedan. And then he was gone. And just like that, China's biggest textile dye operation -- with four factories, a campus the size of 31 football fields, 4,000 workers and debts of at least $200 million -- was history. "We're pretty much dead now," said Mao Youming, one of 300 suppliers stiffed last month by Tao's company, Jianglong Group.
March 30, 2012 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
A sweeping investigation into three Chinese factories that produce Apple Inc. products found "significant issues" with working conditions, including excessive overtime and health and safety risks. An industry-funded labor watchdog group, the Fair Labor Assn., said Thursday that it had conducted a thorough inspection of the factories operated by Foxconn, a major supplier to Apple and other tech companies. The group said it had secured "groundbreaking commitments" that will reduce working hours, improve conditions and establish a voice for workers.
November 5, 1989 | Reuters
Left-wing rebels fighting to topple the Sri Lanka government destroyed five processing factories in the Indian ocean island's central tea-growing region last week and damaged five more.
April 22, 2014 | Doyle McManus
One year ago this week, the eight-story Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh's capital city of Dhaka, killing 1,129 people. The building's top floors had been added illegally, and their weight caused the lower stories to buckle. Many of the victims were young women who had been sewing low-priced clothes for Western brands, earning a minimum wage of about $9 a week. It was the worst disaster in garment industry history. In the year since Rana Plaza, inspectors commissioned by U.S. and European clothing companies have scoured Dhaka, checking factories that supply brands to Western retailers.
April 16, 2014 | By Frank Shyong
After a months-long battle with the city of Irwindale over complaints about a spicy odor, Sriracha sauce creator David Tran said Wednesday he is now seriously considering moving his factory to another location. Tran responded Wednesday to the politicians and business leaders from 10 states and multiple cities in California that have offered to host the Sriracha factory. He invited them to tour the facility in Irwindale and decide if their communities would complain about the odors that arise during production.
March 19, 2014 | By Laura King
CAIRO - Heavily armed Egyptian forces swooped down Wednesday on a suspected militant arms cache and bomb factory, triggering a firefight that left two high-ranking military officers dead, officials and state media said. At least five insurgents were also killed in the hours-long shootout north of Cairo and four others were arrested, the Interior Ministry said. Officials said the hideout belonged to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, or Partisans of Jerusalem, an armed Islamist group that has carried out a number of sophisticated attacks in recent months.
March 17, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - Factories heated up last month, unexpectedly posting their biggest output gains since last summer and helping overall industrial production reverse a weather-related January decline, the Federal Reserve said Monday. Manufacturing output surged 0.8% in February, nearly wiping out a 0.9% drop the previous month that the Fed said resulted from extreme winter weather that hit much of the country. The jump was the largest since August and exceeded analyst expectations for a 0.3% increase.
March 15, 2014 | By David Pierson
FALLON, Nev. - The dairy plant with its tangle of stainless steel pipes rises out of the parched landscape here like a beckoning oasis. Perched on the outskirts of this desert town dotted with small churches and roadside casinos, the factory represents a potential lifeline for nearly two dozen nearby dairy farmers. In a few weeks, every drop of milk collected from the surrounding farms will be brought to the plant and converted into fine powder inside a towering heating chamber specially made for the $85-million facility.
March 7, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
California loves Tesla Motors. The Palo Alto electric car maker's Model S sedan is the state's new eco-luxury status symbol. Californians bought more than a third of Teslas sold globally last year. Residents of the state pack the order list for Tesla's next offering, a sport utility vehicle. California pollution-control policies enable Tesla to rake in tens of millions of dollars each year from selling environmental credits to other automakers - a key source of Tesla's revenue.
April 13, 2005 | From Associated Press
After years of criticism over its labor practices abroad, Nike Inc. is disclosing for the first time the names and locations of more than 700 factories that produce its sneakers, apparel and other products. Industry experts said the disclosure would make the Beaverton, Ore.-based sneaker giant the first major apparel manufacturer to voluntarily disclose its entire supply chain.
When history teacher Gay Shepard of Mesa View Middle School toured an automobile parts factory recently, she arrived ready to weld new ideas into her eighth-grade lesson plans. Geared with goggles and pen and pad in hand, the Huntington Beach teacher listened closely as the staff of Nippondenso Inc., the company that sponsored the tour, capped engine hoses with metal tops, and tested large and small auto parts with laser micrometers and other high-tech robotics.
March 6, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Factory orders fell again in January, but the rate of decline lessened after a steeper-than-initially-estimated drop the previous month, the Commerce Department said Thursday. New orders for manufactured goods, a key indicator of future factory output, were down 0.7% in January to $483 billion. Analysts projected orders would decline 0.5%. It was the second straight monthly decline and the harsh winter weather in much of the country probably was a factor. PHOTOS: Federal Reserve chairs through the years December's decline was revised down to 2% from an initial estimate of 1.5%, the Commerce Department said.
March 3, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - Factory growth picked up last month and consumers spent more than analysts expected in January, countering some recent downbeat reports that indicated the economic recovery was weakening. Severe winter weather appeared to cut both ways in the data released Monday. There were signs it hampered factory production even as new orders and inventories increased, according to the Institute of Supply Management. But some of the increase in consumer spending came from higher heating and utility bills as households dealt with bitter cold in much of the country, said Chris G. Christopher Jr., director of consumer economics at IHS Global Insight.
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