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Big unions plan campaign to boost workers' image

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Union leaders plan to launch a multimillion dollar campaign to boost the image of government workers and fend off pay cuts, benefit rollbacks and other anti-union measures in states under fiscal siege.

The scope of the effort is unusual in a non-election year, and it signals a growing concern that unions could lose significant clout in states where the political climate has changed with Republicans in control in many legislatures.

"It's a pretty unprecedented attack on public sector workers and workers in all industries," said Naomi Walker, director of state government relations at the AFL-CIO, the nation's largest labor federation.

Cash-strapped states from New York to California want to freeze wages or cut pension benefits of public employees to help balance budgets. At least 16 states are expected to consider legislation that would take away the right of unions to use payroll deductions for political purposes.

Walker said unions plan to get their message out with phone banks, public rallies, and stepped-up lobbying efforts in at least a dozen state legislatures.

The effort is being coordinated by the AFL-CIO along with other large unions, including the politically powerful Service Employees International Union and the National Education Association.


Tylenol, Sudafed recalled

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa (AP) -- Johnson & Johnson said Friday it is recalling nearly 47 million packages of Tylenol, Sudafed and other nonprescription drugs manufactured at a Pennsylvania facility that has already been subject to a series of massive recalls, battering the company's household brand.

The latest recall affects certain lots of Tylenol, Benadryl and Sudafed products because of insufficient cleaning procedures, though the company does not believe that quality was impacted. The company also recalled certain lots of Rolaids tablets because they do not include certain labeling information.

The recalls are aimed at wholesalers in the U.S., the Caribbean and Brazil. Consumers do not have to take any action, the company said. Consumers who have the products can continue using them.

All of the products were made at the company's plant in Fort Washington, Pa., before it was shuttered in April following a Food and Drug Administration investigation. FDA inspectors found a slew of manufacturing problems at the plant, including equipment covered with thick layers of dust and others held together with duct tape.


Cable negotiations continue

NEW YORK (AP) -- Once again, Time Warner Cable Inc. subscribers face the possibility of losing one of their local network TV stations.

Time Warner is still trying to reach a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. on the fees that Time Warner pays to carry Sinclair's station. The two sides said Friday they have agreed to a second extension, so the existing contract now expires at midnight Saturday.

After that, local affiliates of Fox, CBS and ABC could go offline for some Time Warner customers.(In Western New York, Sinclair owns the Fox and MyTV affiliates.)

If there is a blackout, Time Warner says customers will still be able to see network programming. It plans to replace signals from Sinclair with feeds from nearby stations in other cities, a tactic it can pursue under its existing contract with Sinclair until the end of February. That means subscribers will still see shows such as "Glee" but not the local news.


Firm sets price on offering

Columbus McKinnon Corp., the Amherst-based maker of hoists and riggings, said Thursday that it has set the price on its offering of $150 million in senior subordinated notes, which are being sold through Jan. 25.

Columbus McKinnon, which announced on Monday its intention to sell the debt to refinance older, higher-interest notes, said the 7 7/8 -percent notes will be sold for 98.545 percent of face value. Interest will be payable semi-annually on Feb. 1 and Aug. 1 of each year, starting this August.

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