1.APPLE:-A U.S. national labor agency is investigating two charges against tech giant Apple Inc filed by employees, records on its website show, amid a wave of worker activism at a company known for its secretive culture.
The charges, filed on Aug. 26 and Sept. 1, are being reviewed by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board’s office in Oakland, California. The agency declined to comment.
“We take all concerns seriously and we thoroughly investigate whenever a concern is raised,” Apple, which is based in Cupertino, California, said in a statement that cited employee privacy in declining to discuss specifics.
Ashley Gjovik, a senior engineering program manager at Apple, told Reuters that she filed the Aug. 26 charge, which cites harassment by a manager, reduction of responsibilities and increases in unfavorable work, among other complaints.
The Sept. 1 charge was filed by Cher Scarlett, an Apple software engineer who said the company repeatedly stopped discussions of pay among employees.
The documents she sent the agency, which she provided to Reuters, say Apple “engaged in coercive and suppressive activity that has enabled abuse and harassment of organizers of protected concerted activity.”
The labor relations agency investigates all charges it receives, and launches a prosecution against the employer if merited.
Workers in Silicon Valley, and especially those of Apple, are known to avoid publicity, reflecting companies’ desire to keep new products tightly under wraps.
2.CARGILL :The Brazilian unit of U.S. commodities trader Cargill has finished building a new facility to produce pectin, a fruit by-product used in jams, beverages, dairy products and confectionery, the company said on Friday.
The plant is Cargill’s only pectin facility outside of Europe, where it owns three such units.
It will make Cargill the world’s second largest producer of the food ingredient, Laerte Moraes, Cargill’s director for starches and sweeteners in South America, said in an interview.
Located close to Brazil’s orange belt – where Cargill will source orange peel as the raw material – the factory should help trim company production costs as currently two of its plants in Europe have to import orange peels for processing there.
The Brazilian unit will mainly cater to export markets, particularly clients in Asia, and will employ 120 people, the company said.
Cargill’s move reflects a need to balance large-volume businesses that have lower margins while boosting its presence in market segments with smaller volumes but higher prices.
It is also a response to evolving industrial customer and consumer dietary requirements. Global demand for pectin, a natural ingredient that can be used as an emulsifier, stabilizer and thickener agent in cooking and baking, is expected to grow by up to 4% per year, Cargill said.
The company, one of the largest soy and corn traders in Brazil, announced construction of the new plant in 2018. Though the work was slightly delayed in 2020 due to the pandemic-related restrictions, the plant will begin operations this month, Moraes said.
The new plant can produce some 6,000 tonnes per year of the high-value product, a kilogram of which can cost between $15 and $20, Moraes said.
3.GENERAL MOTORS--General Motors Co will reduce production at most North American assembly plants this month because of the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage, hitting its profitable truck and sport utility vehicles, it said on Thursday.
The largest U.S. automaker will halt production next week at its Fort Wayne plant in Indiana and its Silao plant in Mexico, both of which build pickup trucks. In total, GM is cutting production at eight North American assembly plants in September.
The industry-wide chip shortage is causing massive auto production cuts around the globe and auto industry officials say the problem is getting worse.
GM shares were largely unchanged in late trading Thursday.
Earlier this week, Ford Motor Co said it will also cut truck production next week because of the chips shortage and said its August U.S. sales were down 33% on the chip shortage. Toyota Motor Corp said last month it will slash global production for September by 40% from its previous plan.
GM will halt production at its Wentzville, Missouri plant for two weeks starting Sept. 6 that builds midsize trucks and full-size vans. GM will also halt production at the CAMI Assembly in Canada and San Luis Potosi Assembly in Mexico for two additional weeks. The company builds its Equinox SUV at both plants.
The automaker is also idling production for two additional weeks at its Lansing Delta Township plant that builds the Chevrolet Traverse and the Buick Enclave.
GM will cut two weeks of production in September at the Spring Hill Tennessee plant that builds the GMC Acadia, Cadillac XT5 and Cadillac XT6. Its Ramos, Mexico plant will take two additional weeks of downtime for Blazer production, while Equinox production will be down through the week of Sept. 27.
4.HYUNDAI:Hyundai Motors’ Genesis said on Thursday it would phase out all gas-powered cars by the end of the decade and that its luxury vehicles debuting 2025 onwards will run on fuel cells and batteries.
Genesis, which was launched as Hyundai’s standalone luxury division in 2015 to compete with premium brands such as BMW, Mercedes and Lexus, joins other auto majors who are doubling down on investments in electric vehicles.
The company, which accounts for just above 3% of Hyundai’s overall vehicle sales, said it would develop eight electric vehicle models with global sales expected to reach 400,000 units per year.
Hyundai Motor on Thursday unveiled Genesis’ first electric vehicle, the GV60, which will be released this year in South Korea and start deliveries in North America in 2022.
.5.WESTERN UNION – Western Union Co and MoneyGram International Inc resumed money-transfer services to Afghanistan on Thursday, moves in line with a U.S. push to allow humanitarian activity to continue after the Taliban’s takeover.
The pair suspended services in Afghanistan more than two weeks ago after the Islamist militia captured Kabul at lightning speed.
But an easing of security concerns following the completion of the Taliban’s conquest of the country opened the way for the reopening this week of banks, which the money-transfer firms rely on to dispense and collect funds.
Jean Claude Farah, Western Union’s president in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told Reuters the reopening of banks, plus a push by the United States to facilitate humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, had given the American company confidence to resume services on Thursday.