1.FORD: The plan for Ford Motor Co and Korean battery partner SK Innovation to build three battery plants in the United States, announced this week, will prompt a furious drive by labor leaders to organize the plants, potentially setting the tone for future union drives at auto industry factories in the U.S. South.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which represents about 150,000 hourly workers at the U.S. plants for General Motors Co , Ford and Chrysler parent Stellantis NV, is working to represent workers at battery plants. Union leaders have said Ford has a “moral obligation” to make sure battery plant jobs are good-paying union jobs.
The fate of these workers is so important because building electric cars and the batteries that power them is largely where the job growth lies in the auto sector. If the UAW strikes out in the Ford-SK plants, it could face the risk of further erosion of membership as consumers buy fewer gasoline-powered vehicles.
The UAW has strong allies in Washington as U.S. President Joe Biden has called on U.S. automakers to deepen their relationships with the union, and House Democratic leaders want to give union-made U.S. electric vehicles an extra $4,500 in consumer retail incentives.
2.FACEBOOK:-CNN said it is preventing Australians from accessing its Facebook Inc pages after a court ruled that publishers can be liable for defamation in public comment sections and the social media firm refused to help it disable comments in the country.
The move makes CNN, which is owned by AT&T Inc (NYSE:T), the first major news organisation to pull its Facebook presence in Australia since the country’s highest court ruled this month that publishers were legally responsible for comments posted below articles – even if the articles themselves were not defamatory.
The ruling has come under much fire with defamation lawyers accusing Australia of not keeping up with technological change and noting the contrast with the United States and Britain where laws largely protect publishers from any fallout from comments posted online.
Australia is currently reviewing its defamation laws but in the meantime, other global news organisations, especially those that feel they can easily live without an Australian Facebook audience, are likely to follow CNN’s lead, the lawyers said.
“This is the first domino to fall,” said Michael Bradley, managing partner of Marque Lawyers.
3.SAMSUNG- Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is close to finalising the construction of a $17 billion semiconductor factory in Williamson County in the U.S. state of Texas, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
Samsung told Reuters that it is continuing due diligence in multiple locations, and that it has yet to make a decision.
The factory will make advanced logic semiconductor chips and is likely to create about 1,800 jobs, Samsung previously said in filings to state officials.
One of the people said though no decision has been made, the Austin suburb of Williamson County is the frontrunner due to the subsidies on offer as well as the likelihood of stable sources of electricity and water.
A winter storm shutdown at Samsung’s existing chip plant in Austin during the first quarter caused the equivalent of 300 billion to 400 billion won ($254 million to $339 million) of damage to wafer production.
All three people declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak with media.
Samsung previously said it would start construction on the new 6-million-square-foot (557,418-sq-meter) plant in January, with production up and running by the end of 2024.
The plan comes at a time when the global auto industry faces a significant semiconductor shortage.
“With the United States turning semiconductors into a strategic material, it is becoming a risk to be concentrated only in Asia,” said Park Sung-soon, an analyst at Seoul-based Cape Investment Securities.
4.AIR FRANCE:–Air France-KLM aims to decide in the coming months on an order of at least 80 medium-haul jets for its Dutch network and Transavia budget subsidiaries in what would be its biggest fleet transaction ever, its chief executive said.
The Franco-Dutch airline launched a tender earlier this year to renew and expand the medium-haul Boeing 737 fleets at KLM and the French and Dutch operations of Transavia.
Chief Executive Ben Smith said the deal could involve a firm purchase of 80 aircraft with options for another 60 to 80.
Analysts have said the competition is Boeing’s to lose after a long association with KLM, but Smith stressed the group was in talks with both the U.S. planemaker and European rival Airbus. He said it was in parallel talks with engine makers CFM and Pratt & Whitney.
Smith was speaking at a ceremony to mark the arrival of the first Airbus A220 regional jet as part of a multi-stage effort to simplify fleets and reduce unit costs at the group.
Next up will be separate competitions around 2023 to replace the A320/A321 medium-haul jets and the A330 long-haul model operating on the Air France network, Smith said.
For the A320 replacement, Air France would be interested in a possible longer version of the Canadian-designed A220, if Airbus decided to launch one, he said.
The first of 60 Airbus A220 jets with 148 seats will enter Air France-KLM’s French network from Oct. 31, starting with flights to cities such as Berlin and Madrid.
Air France is beginning to see some recovery in business travel on domestic routes but premium travel remains far below pre-crisis levels, the unit’s Chief Executive Anne Rigail said.
“We are seeing some signs in particular on domestic routes, with some conferences taking place especially in the south of France, but we are still very far from 2019 levels at this stage,” Rigail told reporters when asked about business traffic.
5. BOEING: Boeing Co’s 737 MAX test flight for China’s aviation regulator last month was successful and the planemaker hopes a two-year grounding will be lifted this year, the head of Boeing’s China business said on Wednesday.
“It went off without a hitch,” Boeing China President Sherry Carbary said of the test flight, speaking on the sidelines of Airshow China, the country’s biggest air show.
Boeing working with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) as it sifts through data and finalises reports before deciding whether the plane can be returned to service, Carbary said.
The ban, which has been lifted in the West and several Asian countries, could be eased in China around November, people close to the matter have told Reuters.
“We are hopeful it will happen by the end of the year,” Carbary said, declining to be more specific. “It is up to CAAC. But I can tell you we are doing all we can to support them and we’re encouraged about how closely they are working with us.”
Before the 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 after two fatal crashes, Boeing was selling one quarter of the planes it built annually to Chinese buyers.
The company’s China sales have also been hobbled by U.S.-China trade tensions.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Tuesday the Chinese government was preventing its domestic airlines from buying “tens of billions of dollars” of Boeing planes.