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Business news briefs — Feb. 19


Pianalto to speak in Wooster

Sandra Pianalto, outgoing president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, will speak Wednesday at the College of Wooster.

Her talk, My Life at the Federal Reserve, is part of the college’s James R. Wilson lecture series. The program starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Wilson Governance Room in the lower level of the Scot Center, 1267 Beall Ave., Wooster. Admission is free.

Pianalto joined the bank in 1983 as an economist and was named president in 2003. She is a graduate of the University of Akron, has a master’s degree in economics from George Washington University and also is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Duke University. She is retiring from the Cleveland Fed on May 31.


UPS sets increase

UPS says it is increasing its quarterly dividend by 8 percent as a result of the shipping company’s improved cash flow. The Atlanta-based company said it will pay a dividend of 67 cents per share March 11 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 24. That’s up from its most recent dividend of 62 cents per share.


Union pursues options

Volkswagen’s top workers’ representative says he won’t give up the fight for unionization at the German automaker’s plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. Employees there voted 712-626 last week against joining the United Auto Workers union. Bernd Osterloh, who is also a member of VW’s supervisory board, told the German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung that U.S. labor law experts will check whether undue pressure was put on employees to reject the UAW.

Osterloh says “all options will be examined” to introduce a “works council” at the only major VW plant worldwide without formal worker representation.

He told the paper that the failure to achieve this might prevent Volkswagen from building future plants in the U.S. South.

Wage request made

Japan’s largest manufacturer and employer, Toyota, said the wage increases labor unions have demanded going into annual negotiations this year were “surprisingly high.” The carmaker will wait until the negotiations are finished before saying whether it will agree to the requests, Senior Managing Officer Naoki Miyazaki told reporters. He said improvement in Japan’s economy and the need to boost personal spending will be considered in the talks. Toyota this month reported profit quintupled last quarter and raised its forecast for the year.

Mazda problem studied

U.S. regulators are investigating problems with the power brakes in the Mazda CX-9 crossover SUV. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has seven complaints of unexpected loss of power-assisted brakes. No crashes have been reported. The probe covers about 62,000 of the SUVs from the 2010 and 2011 model years.


N.J. seeks court intervention

New Jersey, wanting to overturn a federal ban on sports betting in all but four states, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to declare the ban unconstitutional. With a federal appeals panel ruling against the state, New Jersey is appealing to the nation’s highest court to consider two legal questions: Does the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act usurp state authority, in violation of the 10th Amendment? And does its granting permission to only four states to conduct sports betting violate the principal of equal sovereignty? The panel ruled New Jersey law allowing sports betting conflicts with the federal law, which limits sports betting to states that legalized it before a 1991 deadline — Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. New Jersey says the federal law is unconstitutional because it treats states differently.


Dow falls nearly 90 points

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 89.84 points to 16,040.56. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 12.01 points to 1,828.75 and the Nasdaq composite fell 34.83 points to 4,237.95.

Compiled from staff and wire reports



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