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General Electric to locate tech center in Michigan

Birmingham, Mich. – General Electric Co. said Friday it will build a $100 million manufacturing technology center in Michigan that will eventually employ about 1,200 workers.

The Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center will include a GE research and development facility with scientists and engineers who will develop manufacturing technologies for GE’s renewable energy, aircraft engine, gas turbine and other products.

The center, which is expected to open later this year in Van Buren Township, Mich., also will develop software, networking and other services. Hiring is expected to begin later this year.

Paccar delaying opening of diesel engine plant

Bellevue, Wash. – Paccar Inc., citing adverse economic conditions and a decrease in demand, has pushed back to late 2010 the expected opening date of its diesel engine plant near Columbus, Miss.

Although the plant originally was scheduled to begin operations late this year, the facility likely will not open until “late in 2010,” said Alan Treasure, spokesman at the company’s Bellevue, Wash., office.

The plant will manufacture 12.9-liter and 9.2-liter diesel engines for Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF vehicles.

Paccar officials in 2007 signed a contract with the state to provide 500 jobs at the plant by 2013.

Chinese agency expected to reject Hummer purchase

Beijing – China’s planning agency is likely to reject a Chinese company’s bid to acquire General Motors Corp.’s Hummer unit, in part because its gas-guzzling vehicles conflict with Beijing’s conservation goals, state radio reported.

The National Development and Reform Commission is also likely to say Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp., a maker of construction machinery, lacks the expertise to run Hummer, China National Radio said late Thursday. It cited no source.

Tengzhong said it has yet to reach a definitive agreement with GM, which the company said previously was required to make a formal request for government approval of the deal.

Tengzhong, based in the southwestern city of Chengdu, emerged as Hummer’s surprise buyer this month after GM sought court protection from its creditors. The companies said the sale still required regulatory approval and refused to disclose the price.

Meat packing plant, union agree on first contract

Raleigh, N.C. – Smithfield Packing Co. and the union that worked for years to organize one of the world’s largest pork slaughterhouses said Friday they had reached a tentative agreement on their first contract for the plant just four months after starting talks.

The pending deal between the United Food and Commercial Workers and Smithfield Packing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Smithfield, Va.-based Smithfield Foods Inc., said workers at the plant in rural Tar Heel would vote Tuesday and Wednesday on whether to ratify the contract’s terms.

Both sides declined to offer details of the deal until they were shared with the roughly 5,000 employees.

The company began negotiating the contract with UFCW Local 1208 in February after workers narrowly voted in December to back a union. The two sides had been locked since the plant opened in 1992 in a bitter dispute over the UFCW’s efforts to organize the work force in one of North Carolina’s poorest and most rural regions.