Union official may join GM board PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 25 April 2014 11:39
DETROIT (AP) — For the first time, General Motors Co. could have an official of the United Auto Workers union on its board of directors.
UAW Vice President Joe Ashton was nominated to a board seat controlled by a UAW trust fund that pays retiree health care bills. He plans to retire from his union post in June.
The move, which would be considered common in Europe, is a first for General Motors, and a sign of how the relationship between the company and the union has changed in the past decade. Before that, the UAW battled with the company over wages, benefits and work rules, squeezing out as much as it could for members regardless of GM’s finances. Now, the two often work together to boost quality and control costs, with workers getting a slice of company profits every year.
Russia feeling pinch of sanctions PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by AP   
Friday, 25 April 2014 07:29
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Central Bank has unexpectedly raised its key interest rate in an effort to stem inflation as the country begins to feel the impact of its policies in Ukraine.
The Central Bank said Friday it has increased its one-week auction rate by 0.5 percentage points to 7.5 percent. The Russian ruble has fallen to record lows in recent weeks amid concerns over the Ukrainian crisis — a weaker currency tends to push inflation up.
Moscow in March recognized a hastily called referendum in Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and annexed it weeks later, attracting condemnation of the West as well some sanctions.
The bank said it does not expect to cut rates again in coming months and hopes Friday’s hike will keep inflation under 6 percent this year.
Last Updated on Sunday, 27 April 2014 08:17
Retailers pin hopes on Pintrest PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 25 April 2014 10:38
NEW YORK (AP) — Target, Nordstrom and other big chains are pinning their hopes of attracting shoppers on social media.
Retailers increasingly are using Pinterest, a social media site that allows users to create collections of photos, articles, recipes, videos and other images that are called “pins,” to draw business to their own sites.
Shoes, handbags and other popular items on Pinterest are being prominently displayed in Nordstrom stores. Target, the nation’s No. 2 discounter, is creating exclusive party-planning collections with top Pinterest users, or “pinners.” And Caribou created a coffee blend that was inspired by the coffee chain’s Pinterest fans.
Postal workers union to protest Staples program PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 24 April 2014 10:29

NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of postal workers around the country are expected to protest the opening of postal counters in Staples stores that are staffed with retail employees.

Thursday's protests are planned at 50 locations in 27 states, including rallies in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Last year, Framingham, Mass.-based Staples Inc. began offering postal services under a pilot program that now includes some 80 stores. The American Postal Workers Union objects, because they say well-paid union workers have been replaced by low-wage nonunion workers.

The union says that could lead to layoffs and post office closings. The union says postal workers "have taken an oath to protect the sanctity of the mail," unlike retail workers.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says the program has nothing to do with privatization but is a response to customer demands for convenience.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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