Detroit Free Press/Detroit Free Press/TNS

GM struggles to hire hundreds of temps, union boss says drop drug test

Business / Business News /

About two months ago at General Motors' Flint Assembly plant, UAW Local 598 Shop Chairman Eric Welter realized something wasn't right.

Each week, Welter needed about 100 temporary employees to fill in various shifts for the 5,110 hourly workers at the plant, which his local represents.

Yet the staffing agency that GM used to recruit people was...Read more

Armando L. Sanchez/TNS

Elevators. Fitting rooms. Salad bars. Where are COVID-19 restrictions lifting, and what's still off limits, as Illinois enters phase 5?

Business / Business News /

Illinois entered phase five of its reopening Friday, lifting all pandemic capacity restrictions on businesses for the first time in roughly 18 months.

But not all COVID-19 health and safety measures are disappearing. Businesses are still advised to allow for social distancing and can require additional precautions.

From salad bars to grocery ...Read more

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/TNS

Ag secretary: US needs better programs for long-term drought

Business / Business News /

EAST LANSING, Mich. — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack plugged sustainable farming and forestry efforts in a Friday visit to Michigan State University, where he promised an aggressive approach to conservation and reforestation.

Vilsack made the comments at MSU's new STEM Teaching and Learning Facility, built at the site of the former...Read more

US inflation expectations build in June survey of economists

Business / Business News /

Economists’ inflation expectations keep rising as a variety of key metrics underscore building price pressures.

Forecasters raised their estimates for the consumer price index and for a key inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve, known as the personal consumption expenditures price index, every quarter through the first half of next ...Read more

Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Two test positive for COVID-19 on first Caribbean cruise. Most aboard are vaccinated

Business / Business News /

Just five days in to the first cruise in the Caribbean in seven months, two passengers aboard the Celebrity Millennium ship tested positive for COVID-19.

Like almost all passengers aboard, the cabin-mates were vaccinated and reportedly asymptomatic.

Millennium passenger Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic, said the captain’s ...Read more

Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS

The Week Ahead: Tipping its hand on tapering

Business / Business News /

The first time the Federal Reserve announced it was going to cut back on buying government bonds, the investment markets threw a fit. That was in late May 2013. Over the next month, the S&P 500 fell almost 6%, and market interest rates jumped.

It is known as the taper tantrum.

The central bank will work hard to avoid a repeat freak-out by ...Read more

Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images North America/TNS

Michael Hiltzik: The FDA's hasty approval of an unproven Alzheimer's drug is bad news for everyone

Business / Business News /

Call it a landmark, call it a breakthrough: There's no disputing that the Food and Drug Administration's approval on Monday of a purported new Alzheimer's treatment called Aduhelm marks a significant change in the process of bringing new drugs to market.

But it's a discouraging change. The FDA's action points to a broken drug approval system. ...Read more

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Florida unemployment office axes call centers despite thousands who still need help

Business / Business News /

Florida’s unemployment office has gotten rid of all of the call centers it brought on in 2020 — a decision that critics said is premature, as thousands of claims continue to pour in and applicants still struggle to get through the state’s antiquated CONNECT website.

The Department of Economic Opportunity recently cut ties with Titan ...Read more

Auto review: BMW M4 has big grille, big power -- and big identity crisis

Business / Business News /

Say hello to the 2021 BMW M4 coupe. B stands for “big”: big kidney grille, big proportions, big power, big sticker price.

Big ambition.

Most of it works, but the big news is that M4 is no longer the brand’s premier track rat. That title belongs to the smaller, apex-slicing M2 coupe — a rocket with the same proportions as the 2000 E46 ...Read more


Auto review: No longer a mall rat, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder returns to its roots

Business / Business News /

Remember the Nissan Pathfinder? You know, the 2012 model, the one that was a true SUV. Its 310-horsepower V-8 could tow your house down the block if necessary. But that changed for 2013, when it was recast from a rugged rock crawler to a suburban road warrior, exchanging its muddy boots and Carhartt jacket for a pair of loafers and a cardigan ...Read more

J. KYLE KEENER/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Mark Phelan: Lexus' new Teammate hands-free driving feature made me put my hands on the wheel

Business / Business News /

The new "hands-free" driving system from Lexus isn’t really hands free, but that doesn’t mean the luxury brand’s Teammate driving assistant doesn’t work. It does exactly what Toyota wants it to do. What’s interesting is how different that is from what General Motors, Ford and Tesla expect from their driving assistants.

I was the first...Read more

Ellen M. Banner/Seattle Times/TNS

Amazon shifts return-to-office stance, says remote work is OK 2 days a week

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE —Amazon has softened its stance on remote work, announcing in an internal memo Thursday that tech and corporate employees can continue working from home two days a week once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Most of Amazon’s 60,000 Seattle-area corporate employees will also be allowed to work remotely from a domestic location for ...Read more

Alan Berner/Seattle Times/TNS

Amazon to maintain pace of warehouse work despite regulator's citation

Business / Business News /

Amazon says its productivity targets for warehouse workers will remain unchanged despite a determination last month from Washington state's workplace safety regulator that the pressure Amazon places on workers to meet those targets is causing injuries and violating the law.

"Safety and performance targets can go hand in hand, that can continue ...Read more

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/TNS

3M and US marshals confiscate more then 1M counterfeit N95 masks

Business / Business News /

3M said Thursday that U.S. marshals have seized more than 1 million counterfeit versions of its N95 respirators from a warehouse in Lexington, Ky.

It's the latest of a long line of fake N95 confiscations since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020.

The U.S. District Court in eastern Kentucky granted3Ma temporary restraining order, stopping...Read more


UnitedHealthcare delays policy to stop paying for some ER care

Business / Business News /

UnitedHealthcare is putting on hold a new policy that would have stopped payments for non-emergency health care provided in ERs beginning next month.

Doctors and hospitals strenuously objected to the plan, with emergency physicians saying the change created risks for patients while threatening progress in the fight against COVID-19.

The ...Read more

Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Gary Jones, ex-UAW president, gets reduced 28-month prison sentence

Business / Business News /

The man who led one of America's most storied labor unions during its 40-day strike against General Motors in 2019 has been sentenced to 28 months in prison, a reduced penalty rewarding him for his cooperation in the long-running federal corruption probe of the UAW.

The sentence Thursday morning was an in-person proceeding, a shift from the way...Read more

The Dallas Morning News/TNS

Lumber is wildly expensive now. Even picnic table prices are through the roof

Business / Business News /

The cost of a common commodity has scrambled summer plans, and it’s not gas: Soaring lumber prices are making new homes, renovations and even simple picnic tables drastically more expensive.

At times, bills are coming in thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over estimate. In the most extreme cases, projects have come to a ...Read more

Ford Motor Co./TNS

Demand soars for Ford's all-electric F-150 Lightning: 100,000 orders placed

Business / Business News /

Ford Motor Co. hit another milestone with its all-electric 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning.

The company has confirmed reaching 100,000 reservations since its global debut three weeks ago at world headquarters in Dearborn.

"We're super excited about the demand," Emma Bergg, Ford spokeswoman, told the Free Press on Thursday. "Reservations are getting ...Read more

Vashon Jordan Jr./TNS

Offices are reopening, but business isn't rebounding at dry cleaners: 'It's kind of a dying service'

Business / Business News /

As the U.S. looks to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind it, customers are quickly returning to the businesses they used to frequent. But for many, dry cleaners are no longer part of the weekly routine.

The pandemic has diminished the use of professional and formal attire, leaving the dry cleaning business well below 2019 levels and causing ...Read more

Erika Schultz/Digital Image/TNS

With 2 new villages and an expansion, the effort to double tiny house villages in Seattle begins

Business / Business News /

It's going to be a busy summer at "The Hope Factory," an 8,000-square-foot warehouse in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood, where around a dozen volunteers will come in six days a week to build at least 10 shed-sized homes a month for homeless people.

"All of our weekends are booked, except two Saturdays, through Labor Day," said Barb Oliver, director...Read more