Apple strike cost $19 million
Matt Daneman at the Democrat and Chronicle reports that a strike at a Mott's processing plant that lasted about nine months cost the company $19 million:
The walkout began May 23, when the company made cuts to the pay and benefits of the hourly workers at Mott's. The action ended after 114 days when the plant's 300 striking hourly workers voted on Sept. 14 to approve a proposed contract and return to work. According to the SEC filing, the strike-related expenses were a big reason for a $37 million drop last year in operating profits for Dr Pepper Snapple's packaged beverages business line. Profits for its bottled beverage business also were hurt by higher transportation costs and the expenses associated with the startup of a manufacturing site in southern California, according to the company. The packaged beverages business unit listed segment operating profits of $536 million last year.
Insert New Jersey punch line here
Yesterday the Innovation Trail's Zack Seward reported that Rochester area congresswoman Louise Slaughter is lobbying hard for a federal grant to induce a New Jersey company to move its solar production to Rochester. But the company may be trying to play it both ways. At a Rochester press event, Natcore Technology CEO Chuck Provini said:
"If all the numbers come true and we're here," said Provini at the factory floor press conference, "then this is where [the jobs] will stay."
But Michael L. Diamond at the Asbury Park Press (in New Jersey) reported on Sunday that Provini said:
"We'd love to keep it here because it's easier for me to supervise," Chuck Provini, Natcore's president and chief executive officer, said. "But we haven't gotten a whole lot of traction here."
Verizon deal may be changing
In other state-versus-state news, James Heaney and Thomas Prohaska report at the Buffalo News that Verizon is:
either pitting Wyoming against Western New York in a competition for a giant data center or getting its ducks in a row to build facilities both east and west of the Mississippi.
The paper reports that the company is lining up deals on land in both western New York (and defending a lawsuit over that deal) and Wyoming:
One government official here told The Buffalo News that Verizon executives in private have said they regard Wyoming as potential competition to the Niagara County site, but a company spokesman said Tuesday that it’s possible facilities could be built both places. Moreover, another government official in Wyoming said Verizon executives have told officials there that they are considering data centers in both the east and west as part of a consolidation effort. While plans in Laramie have not advanced as far as those in Niagara County, it appears that Western New York is offering Verizon a much richer subsidy package. Both New York and Wyoming — the latter thanks to legislation signed by the governor last week — would waive sales tax for utilities and computer and cooling equipment. Officials here also have offered Verizon a steep discount on property taxes and hydropower.
Making progress in CNY
The Post-Standard has a series of profiles and Q&As with entrepreneurs and companies as part of its "Progress 2011" series.
Schumer on green credits
Time Knauss reports in the Post-Standard that Senator Charles Schumer swung through Syracuse Tuesday to talk about cutting taxes on microbreweries. But the event quickly turned to whether or not mall project Destiny USA has met the requirements needed to keep its green tax credits, which Schumer helped to procure:
Schumer, D-N.Y., and former Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton helped to insert a $2 billion green-bonds program into federal legislation passed in 2004. The program’s low-cost financing was intended to benefit Destiny and three developments in other states. The Post-Standard reported Sunday that Destiny lawyers will soon ask the IRS to let the project keep its green-bond tax exemption even though Destiny failed to complete much of what it promised in its 2005 application. Among other things, Destiny said it would install the country’s largest fuel-cell facility and enough solar panels to blanket six football fields. The IRS could take as much as a year to decide the matter.
Business support services
A nonprofit in Buffalo is offering free business assistance, including space and set-up help, to firms that move to the region, reports Jonathan Epstein at the Buffalo News:
The group is putting together “pretty much a full menu of business-to-business services” to meet their financial, accounting, legal, administrative, marketing, branding, public relations and other needs. That includes office space and even living space for the owners. “If you move your business to Buffalo from out of town, our goal is to set you up with everything for the first year, other than the cost of your core business,” said John W. Howell, nxtArrow’s president and CEO. “That’s your enticement to come here for the first year.” In exchange, the business owners commit to pay to use the providers of those free services for multiple years afterwards, ensuring a revenue stream for the providers who otherwise take a risk up front.
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