Georgia Pacific to build $425 million paper plant, add 220 jobs in Tennessee and more business news

Georgia Pacific plans Tennessee paper plant

Georgia-Pacific announced Monday it will invest at least $425 million to construct a state-of-the-art Dixie® manufacturing facility in Jackson, Tennessee and add 220 jobs.

A subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc., Georgia-Pacific will focus its new Tennessee manufacturing plant on the production of Dixie® paper plates to support the company's increase in product demand across its three Dixie® facilities. Construction on the new 900,000-square-foot facility is slated to begin before the end of the year and is anticipated to reach completion by the summer of 2024.

By adding a Tennessee facility, Georgia-Pacific will have a total of six operations dedicated to manufacturing Dixie® products, including four that produce plates and bowls.

"Although we have invested to expand existing sites, this is the first new Dixie® plant the company has built since 1991," Fernando Gonzalez, president of consumer business for Georgia-Pacific, said in an announcement of the new plant. "This added capacity will help us meet the needs of our customers as consumer demand for high-quality, durable paper plates and bowls continues to grow."

The new Georgia Pacific plant is being built on a certified industrial site in West Tennessee.

"Having an inventory of shovel-ready industrial sites gives Tennessee communities a leg up when recruiting new businesses to the state," Tennessee's chief economic recruiter Stuart McWhorter said in a statement Monday. "We are proud that Georgia-Pacific found its home in Jackson on one of our state's Select Tennessee Certified Sites, and we thank our partners at CSX who helped to make this site ready for this significant economic development win."


Starbucks to start talks with union for contract

Starbucks said Monday that it wants to start contract negotiations next month at hundreds of U.S. stores that have voted to unionize.

The Seattle coffee giant said it sent letters to 238 stores offering a three-week window in October to start negotiations. All of those stores -- located in 36 states and the District of Columbia -- have voted to unionize this year in elections that were certified by the National Labor Relations Board.

"We look forward to these negotiations and hopefully setting dates and securing locations for contract bargaining," the company said in a post on its website.

But Workers United, the union organizing Starbucks' stores, expressed skepticism about the company's request. Starbucks opposes the unionization of its 9,000 company-owned U.S. stores. Last month, the company asked the National Labor Relations Board to temporarily halt all elections because of evidence of misconduct.

The unionization effort began late last year at a Starbucks store in Buffalo, New York. That store and two others ---- one in New York and one in Arizona ---- are the only ones currently negotiating contracts.

Casey Moore, a labor organizer and union spokesperson, said other stores have reached out to Starbucks to begin negotiations since May but have received no reply. Starbucks said Workers United has directed the company to schedule all negotiations through the union's president.


Elon Musk testifies over Twitter purchase

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is scheduled to spend the next few days with lawyers for Twitter, answering questions ahead of an October trial that will determine whether he must carry through with his $44 billion agreement to acquire the social platform after attempting to back out of the deal.

The deposition, planned for Monday, Tuesday and a possible extension on Wednesday, will not be public. As of Sunday evening it was not clear whether Musk will appear in person or by video. The trial is set to begin October 17 in Delaware Chancery Court, where it's scheduled to last just five days.

Musk, the world's richest man, agreed in April to buy Twitter and take it private, offering $54.20 a share and vowing to loosen the company's policing of content and to root out fake accounts. Twitter shares closed Friday at $41.58.

Musk indicated in July that he wanted to back away from the deal, prompting Twitter to file a lawsuit to force him to carry through with the acquisition.


TikTok may be fined by British regulators

TikTok could face a 27 million-pound ($29 million) fine in the U.K. over a possible breach of U.K. data protection law by failing to protect children's privacy when they are using the video-sharing platform.

The U.K. Information Commissioner's Office said Monday that it has issued the social media company a legal document that precedes a potential fine. It said TikTok may have processed the data of children under 13 without appropriate parental consent, and processed "special category data" without legal grounds to do so.

The commissioner said "special category data" included ethnic and racial origin, political opinions, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.

It also said TikTok may have failed to provide transparent, easily understood information to its users. The legal document covered the period from May 2018 to July 2020.

Information Commissioner John Edwards said the body's provisional view was that TikTok "fell short" of providing proper data privacy protections. The body said its findings are not final and that it will consider any representations from TikTok before making a final decision.

"While we respect the ICO's role in safeguarding privacy in the U.K., we disagree with the preliminary views expressed and intend to formally respond to the ICO," said a statement released by TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner