LOCAL BUSINESS


Akron-Canton breaks records


Akron-Canton Airport reported it ranked the 19th cheapest airport for airfares, besting Cleveland (No. 90), Columbus (No. 35) and Pittsburgh (No. 24) in a new ranking. The second quarter 2011 Bureau of Transportation Statistics rankings look at the 100 cheapest airports for airfares.


The facility known as CAK also said 2011 was the busiest year in its history. A total of 1,664,397 customers traveled to and from the airport in 2011, beating the record set in 2010 by more than 101,366 people, a 6.5 percent increase. December 2011 was also its best month, with more than 142,653 passengers, a 13 percent increase compared with the same month the previous year. Passenger records were broken 10 out of 12 months in 2011. For the decade, passenger figures have doubled.


Sale still pending for Regency


An attorney for Regency Window Co. in Twinsburg said Friday he had nothing firm to report on a possible sale of the company that has been shut down for about two weeks.


Roger Stewart earlier this week said he hoped to have news of a sale. On Friday, Stewart said in an email that he might have an announcement next week.


The longtime replacement window company’s shutdown has left customers worried about warranties and deposits put down on undelivered windows.


The Better Business Bureau of Akron, as well as the Ohio attorney general’s office, has received complaints about the company.


The company reportedly has about 20 employees.


Companies want tax credits


Three companies will go before the Ohio Tax Credit Authority on Monday, seeking tax credits to help pay for projects in the Akron area aimed at creating and retaining jobs.


The agenda for a meeting includes these companies and project locations: Allstate Insurance Co., Hudson; Schneller LLC, Kent; and Newell Rubbermaid Inc., Mogadore.


The state would not release details about the projects before Monday’s meeting.


Earlier this week, consumer products company Newell Rubbermaid withdrew an application to rezone land in Mogadore for expansion of its area operations. Residents had expressed concern about a distribution center being considered at the former West’s Mogadore Country Club.


Newell Rubbermaid is reportedly considering another site in Mogadore — property on Gilchrist Road. Meanwhile, Tallmadge Mayor David Kline said this week that he is expecting to hear soon whether the company will build on land in a joint economic development district with Brimfield Township.


The agenda for the Tax Credit Authority meeting says the Newell Rubbermaid project is slated for Mogadore. However, the agendas sometimes include outdated information.


Newell Rubbermaid has declined to discuss its site selection process.


LABOR


U.S. unions add members


Union membership grew slightly last year, giving labor leaders hope that a period of steep declines has finally bottomed out. The number of unionized workers increased by about 50,000 to nearly 14.8 million members in 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The increase comes after unions lost nearly 1.4 million members over the previous two years.


Still, unions’ share of the overall work force fell, from 11.9 percent to 11.8 percent, as state and local governments trimmed thousands of jobs to address budget shortfalls. That’s the lowest percentage of union workers since the Great Depression in the 1930s.


Unions saw losses of about 61,000 workers in government employment. But they grew by 110,000 workers in the private sector, mainly in construction and health care. Despite that growth, unions still represent just 6.9 percent of all workers at private companies, unchanged from 2010.


Hostess calls for labor cuts


Hostess Brands Inc., the bankrupt maker of Wonder Bread and Twinkies with operations in Northeast Ohio, has asked a judge to slash some of its commitments to union employees, saying it’s the only way it can emerge from bankruptcy as a viable company.


The Teamsters union issued a swift rebuke, saying Hostess was trying to “bully” its way out of obligations to its employees.


Hostess filed for bankruptcy protection this month, hurt by slower sales and competition from other sweets makers like Entenmann’s.


The announcement came just three years after Hostess emerged from a previous bankruptcy restructuring.


Unions represent more than three-quarters of Hostess’ 19,000 employees, the company said.


Hostess is based in Irving, Texas.


Compiled from staff and wire reports