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UAW head asks industry to cooperate with labor

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- United Auto Workers President Bob King urged industry leaders on Wednesday to reject what he called a multi-billion-dollar campaign to destroy organized labor. He said strong unions will boost vehicle quality and improve the bottom line for companies as well as workers.

With talks under way to replace contracts with General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, King said the union had discarded its confrontational approach to bargaining from the past century and was committed to reaching agreements that will make those companies stronger.

"We now know that the only true job security comes from producing the best quality products and services at the best value for consumers," he said in remarks at an annual conference of industry leaders and parts manufacturers in northern Michigan.


SEIU reaches tentative deal

SEIU 1199 workers at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home, both in Springville, reached a tentative contract agreement Tuesday night.

The approximately 200 union members will vote on the agreement Thursday. The two groups have been in negotiations since March.

"We reached a tentative agreement late last night and the terms of the agreement push any lay off (talks) until Sept. 1," said Franchelle Hart, communication coordinator for SEIU 1199.

The hospital is also in negotiations with the New York State Nurses Association, representing 30 nurses. The nurses contract ended in May, and the talks have not yet been productive, said Mark Genovese, spokesman from the NYS Nurses Association.

"We've offered $50,000 worth of concessions in the past just to help the hospital keep afloat, and the hospital still wants more givebacks," he said. "Any more would really harm their ability to recruit and retain nurses."

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital CEO Nils Gunnersen was unavailable to comment.


Cruze tops 24,000 sales

LORDSTOWN -- For the fourth-straight month, the Chevrolet Cruze topped 20,000 sales, which has some experts praising the lasting power of the Lordstown-built compact car.

General Motors Co. sold 24,648 Cruzes in July. Originally, many thought the Cruze's success was based on $4-per-gallon gas the nation saw earlier this year, but after the Cruze became the best-selling car in America in June, experts agreed the car is no fluke.

"There's a certain segment of consumers that purchase based on gas prices, but there's a larger base of consumers who buy based on what the automakers offer. In this case, consumers are responding to the actual vehicle," said Kristen Anderson, an analyst for


Sovran discloses purchases

Sovran Self Storage formally announced Wednesday that it has purchased 19 self-storage facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as part of its recently formed joint venture with a Chicago-based real estate investment firm.

The purchases, which include 17 properties in New Jersey and two in Pennsylvania, have a total of 1.4 million square feet of rentable space. The properties also are a bit of a strategy change for Sovran, since they are solidly performing properties located in urban areas, with limited potential for expansion.

David Rogers, Sovran's chief financial officer, described the properties as "steady Eddies" during an interview in May with The Buffalo News, which first disclosed the purchases.

Sovran contributed $13 million for its 15 percent stake in the $175 million joint venture, while its partner, Heitman put up $67 million for an 85 percent stake. The venture also lined up $90 million in mortgage financing.

The company was scheduled to release its earnings Wednesday night.


Clorox prices to increase

NEW YORK (AP) -- Prices on Clorox products from bleach to salad dressing are about to go up, the company said Wednesday, explaining that's how it plans to cope with the double challenge of nervous consumers and rising prices for raw materials.

Clorox Co. was reporting quarterly results it characterized as encouraging -- a 4 percent increase in revenue but a 1 percent drop in net income, both better than analysts expected for the period that ended June 30.

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