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Car sales down, biotech firm wins grant, union workers approve contracts

From Business Today:


Financial aftershocks of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami are still being felt in Western New York. This time, it's showing up in car sales. Overall new car sales in the region were down slightly in the region last month, partly because a lack of inventory on some Japanese car models decreased sales. American companies are focusing more on fuel efficient cars as gas prices rise, and their sales are increasing accordingly.


United Biochemicals, a Niagara County biotech manufacturer, was awarded a $150,000 capital grant by Empire State Development.The fast-growing company will use the grant to toward a massive $1 million project to renovate and upgrade facilities at the Sanborn-based company. The company will also be adding several job positions to its staff including engineers, marketing professionals and secretaries.


Unions representing more than 400 workers at three nursing homes have approved union contracts, according to Local 1199 Service Employees International Union. Absolut at Gasport Nursing Home's 55 unionized workers, Oakwood Nursing Home's 185 workers and Newfane Rehabilitation Health Care Center's 160 workers have all negotiated for pay increases and better job security. Absolut and Oakwood will see immediate pay increases. Newfane agreed to an initial wage freeze with pay increases coming in 2012 and 2013.

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