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October 29, 2012

News Briefs – October 29, 2012

Navy sending fewer ship mattresses to landfills

The Navy is sending fewer of its shipboard mattresses to landfills.

The mattresses from two Virginia-based aircraft carriers and another ship are having their parts recycled by a South Carolina company this year for other uses.

In all, the Navy plans to recycle 13,000 mattresses from the USS Enterprise, USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Mesa Verde as part of the pilot program.

Navy officials say it is less expensive to recycle the mattresses than send them to a landfill. Recycling mattress material will also save more than 100,000 cubic feet of landfill space.

Gregory Jeanguenat, Naval Station Norfolk’s Integrated Solid Waste and Recycling Site manager, says he hopes the program will expand to other ships, barracks and Navy lodges in the future. AP

Talks under way with on base use

Britain’s government says it is involved in military contingency planning with the United States on potential flashpoints in the Middle East – but insists it doesn’t support any imminent strike on Iran’s nuclear sites.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s office confirmed Oct. 26 that planning is being carried out with the U.S. and other allies, including on the potential use by American forces of British bases overseas.

It follows a report by The Guardian newspaper that the U.S. has asked Britain to use its bases in Cyprus, and British territory in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean, to build up forces in the Gulf. It reported the move was a contingency for potential strikes on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Cameron’s office said discussions were taking place, but declined to specify the details. AP

Michoud ready for deep-space rocket project

A month after the space shuttle Endeavour passed over the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans on its final journey to California, NASA officials this week looked to the future as they gave business owners from across the country an update on the Space Launch System, a new mega-rocket designed to transport astronauts to deep space.

The session drew more than 150 people from dozens of businesses, including some already partnering on the project and others interested in working alongside one of its major contractors, like Boeing, said Todd May, the manager of the program, The Times-Picayune reports.

Hundreds of high-paying jobs are expected to be added when construction on the program reaches its peak, starting next year and leveling off in 2015 May said. AP

Boeing broke labor law at SC plant

An administrative law judge says the Boeing broke national labor law when a human resources manager at its North Charleston, S.C., plant told a mechanic not to talk about unionizing during working time.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports Oct. 28 that Judge William Nelson Cates says Boeing can’t prohibit employees from discussing the union while allowing discussion of non-work-related matters during working time.

Cates ordered Boeing to stop the practice and also required the manufacturer to post a notice that notifies employees of their right to organize.

A Boeing spokeswoman said the company is disappointed with the decision and disputes the findings.

Representatives of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers brought the unfair labor practice charge on behalf of the mechanic this spring. AP




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