September 6, 2013

SC business notebook, Sept 7

UAW in talks to represent VW workers at Tennessee plant; New Galaxy Note will go on sale next month; Motrin Infants formula recalled; Stocks fall flat after rocky morning; Chobani says mold in yogurt cups not linked to foodborne illnesses

UAW in talks to represent VW workers at Tennessee plant

The United Auto Workers union confirmed Friday that it’s in talks with Volkswagen about representing workers at a factory in Chattanooga, Tenn. The union said its representatives met with VW officials last week in Wolfsburg, Germany, to discuss a German-style “works council” at the plant as well as full UAW representation. A works council would give workers a say in plant operations. Currently, only one U.S. plant owned by foreign automakers has UAW representation, a Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Ill., with about 1,000 workers. The union has been trying for years to organize other plants, mainly are in southern states.

New Galaxy Note will go on sale next month

Samsung says that the new versions of its Galaxy Note smartphone and tablet, along with its new smartwatch, will go on sale in the U.S. next month. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and US Cellular all will carry the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. Some of the cellular carriers will also sell the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Major retailers including Best Buy,, RadioShack and Wal-Mart also will carry the smartphone and smartwatch. AT&T says it will sell the phone for $299.99 with a new two-year agreement, or for $35 a month under its AT&T Next installment plan. It will begin shipping orders on Oct. 1. T-Mobile says it plans to sell the smartphone for $199.99 down with 24 monthly payments of $21 and the smartwatch for $299.99.

Stocks fall flat after rocky morning

The stock market ended flat after a morning of wild swings. Traders weighed a weak jobs report for August and tensions between the U.S. and Syria on Friday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose less than a point, or 0.01 percent, to close at 1,655.17. The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 14 points, or 0.1 percent, at 14,922.50. It was down as much as 148 points after trading began. The Nasdaq composite rose one point, or 0.03 percent, to 3,660.01.

Motrin Infants formula recalled

Johnson & Johnson is recalling 200,000 bottles of Motrin Infants formula due to the risk that they contain tiny plastic particles. J&J’s McNeil unit said Friday that the recall affects three lots of its popular Motrin Drops Original Berry Flavor, which is used to lower fever and treat aches and pains in children 2 years old and younger. The company warned that the medicine may be contaminated with specs of PTFE, a plastic also used in Teflon coatings. The recalled bottles can be identified by lot numbers: DCB3T01, DDB4R01 and DDB4S01. Consumers should stop using the affected medicine and call the company for a refund at 1-877-414-7709.

Chobani says mold in yogurt cups not linked to foodborne illnesses

Yogurt maker Chobani says the mold that triggered a recall of some of its Greek yogurt cups this week is not associated with foodborne illnesses like salmonella or E. coli. The company identified the mold Friday as a common species that usually affects fruits, vegetables and other plants. It has also been linked to previous cases of spoiled yogurt. Cornell University Professor Randy Worobo says the mold “should not pose a health risk to most consumers.” A company spokeswoman said 95 percent of the affected yogurt has been pulled.

The Associated Press contributed.

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