CHICAGO—Twenty-nine more female employees have joined a class action lawsuit that all alleges sexual harassment and discrimination at two Ford Motor Co. factories here. The lawsuit now includes Ford’s stamping plant as well as its assembly plant.
EVERETT, WA—Boeing will shut down a temporary extra assembly line used to build 787 Dreamliners at the end of this year and convert it for use in early production of the forthcoming 777X jet. Two final assembly lines in Everett are currently producing seven 787s per month. Workers on the temporary line, known as the “surge line,” will transition to the other assembly line, which will step up production to match the rate from both assembly lines.
GOODWOOD, UK—If you’ve ever seen a Rolls-Royce with a painted pinstripe down the side—that long, thin dead-straight line that goes from the just behind the headlights to just before the taillights— you’re seeing the artwork of Mark Court. That’s his job and his alone—and he does it by hand.
DETROIT—Manufacturing employment increased in Michigan for a fourth straight year. Michigan manufacturers added 14,089 jobs from February 2014 to February 2015, an increase of 2.1 percent. Industrial employment in Michigan has climbed 8.3 percent since February 2011, recovering 40 percent of jobs lost during the recession.
DONGGUAN, China—Shenzhen Everwin Precision Technology Co., a manufacturer of connectors and other electronics components, is building a new factory here that will use only robots for production. The factory will initially be equipped with 1,000 robots, with the aim of reducing the current workforce of 1,800 to about 200.
RIDGEVILLE, SC—Volvo will build its first U.S. car factory in Berkeley County, SC. Volvo’s $500 million investment in the assembly plant could create as many as 2,000 jobs over the next decade and up to 4,000 jobs by 2030.
SOUTH BEND, IN—It’s 20 feet tall, weighs about 400,000 pounds and is now making its way from South Bend to Connecticut: It's the world's largest friction welding machine. Pratt & Whitney will use the machine, made by Manufacturing Technology Inc., to weld large-diameter jet engine components.
SEATTLE—Employees at one of Boeing’s Washington assembly plants are using an odd looking tablet PC with a dozen or more 0.63-millimeter silver balls attached to it. This is Boeing’s vision of the future of augmented reality integrated on the assembly line.
WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy added 223,000 new jobs in April, a return to solid growth likely to ease fears of a significant spring slowdown. The jobless rate dropped to 5.4 percent, the lowest level since May 2008.