Business Briefs: UAW effort at VW plant supported

Business Briefs: UAW effort at VW plant supported

March 22nd, 2013 by Staff Reports and Wire Service in Business Around the Region

The Chattanooga Volkswagen plant is seen in this aerial photograph taken in March 2012.

The Chattanooga Volkswagen plant is seen in this...

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

UAW effort at VW plant supported

A German union is backing the United Auto Workers effort to represent the workers at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga.

"In Chattanooga, you need union representation" to negotiate working conditions, IG Metall President Berthold Huber said in a letter distributed to the plant's hourly employees, according to Reuters.

VW has said the automaker was in talks with the UAW about setting up a German-style labor board at the plant that produces the Passat sedan.

The company may release a plan for the works council labor board in May or June, and formal talks with a union could begin in the second half of the year if VW's managing board approves.

Georgia jobless rate goes down

Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped to 8.6 percent in February, the lowest rate since January 2009.

The rate is down one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.7 percent in January and six-tenths of a percentage point from 9.2 percent in February a year ago.

"The unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in more than four years, and I give the credit to Georgia employers who continue to create jobs and lay off fewer workers," said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. "In fact, there were fewer workers laid-off and filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance in February than since before the beginning for the Great Recession in 2007."

Nike quarter net income jumps

Nike Inc. said Thursday its third-quarter net income rose 55 percent as the athletic gear maker's resurgence in North America and easing material costs helped offset weakness in China.

The world's largest athletic shoe and clothing company's results beat expectations and its shares jumped 8 percent in aftermarket trading.

Nike Inc. has been dealing with Europe's fluctuating economy and a slowdown in growth in China. Nike has been working to reduce its inventory in China and reworking its offerings there to adapt to the changing tastes of Chinese consumers. It also has been focusing on growth in North America, selling off less profitable brands like Umbro to focus on core brands like Nike.