Tentative TimkenSteel deal

TimkenSteel and the United Steelworkers Local 1123 Golden Lodge have reached a second tentative agreement on a four-year contract.

The union will hold informational meetings Nov. 15, followed by ratification votes Nov. 16 — all at the union hall, 1234 Harrison Ave. SW in Canton, according to a post on the USW local’s web site.

Union members rejected the previous tentative agreement. The union has 1,650 members. Members continue to work under provisions of the old contract.

“We have continued to meet and work with union representatives over the past few weeks to arrive at an agreement that benefits our employees as well as our community,” Bill Bryan, TimkenSteel’s executive vice president of manufacturing and supply chain, said in a news release.

According to the union web site, the new tentative agreement calls for 2 percent wage increases each year, with the first increase retroactive to Sept. 26; a $1,000 lump-sum payment within 30 days of ratification; skilled trades job language changes; and an additional floating holiday starting in 2018.


Grand opening in Aurora

The new Textile & Timber store is celebrating its grand opening Saturday at 18813 North Marketplace Drive in Aurora.

The store features home furnishings, bedding, and interior design. Saturday’s celebration kicks off four consecutive weeks of grand opening events, including giveaways worth thousands of dollars.

“We want to welcome the entire Northeast Ohio community to what we believe is the best furniture shopping experience in the area,” Textile & Timber owner and operator Vince Fond III said in a news release.


Mattel rumor sparks trading

Shares of Mattel soared in after-hours trading Friday after a report that rival Hasbro has made a takeover offer for Mattel. Such a deal could bring together well-known brands like Monopoly, Nerf, Barbie and Hot Wheels.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter that it did not identify, said Hasbro approached Mattel recently about a deal. Hasbro said it does not comment on “rumors or speculation.” Mattel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Toy companies, including Hasbro and Mattel, have had trouble selling their toys to today’s kids, many of whom would rather play with a tablet.

Revenue at El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel has fallen every year since 2013, and its stock has lost nearly half its value since the beginning of the year. Hasbro, based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, has fared better after it took over the rights from Mattel for Disney’s “Princess” and Frozen dolls in late 2014. Hasbro’s stock is up 18 percent this year, and the company has a market value of $11 billion — more than twice as much as Mattel.


Another UK setback for Uber

Uber lost the latest round in the battle over its operating model Friday, when a British panel ruled that the company’s drivers are workers, not independent contractors, in a decision with broad implications for the so-called gig economy.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld a lower panel’s decision, agreeing that the two drivers in this case were “workers” under British law and therefore should receive the minimum wage and paid holidays. Uber said it would appeal.

Judge Jennifer Eady rejected Uber’s argument that the men were independent contractors, because the drivers had no opportunity to make their own agreements with passengers and the company required them to accept 80 percent of trip requests when they were on duty.

The tribunal, Eady wrote in her decision, found “the drivers were integrated into the Uber business of providing transportation services.”

The ride-hailing service said it has never required drivers in the U.K. to accept 80 percent of the trips offered to them and that drivers make well above the minimum wage.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.