Business Briefs: Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse cutting jobs, pay, floor space

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Cuts at biotech growth firm

Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, a South Side-based biotechnology investment and accelerator organization, announced Thursday it will cut four staff positions, implement pay cuts and lease out up to half of its 10,500 square foot office. President and CEO John Manzetti said the organization is making the cuts to support its portfolio companies and accelerator fund and to keep core team members on staff.

Heinz shifts some work to N.Z.

The H.J. Heinz Co. plans to cut 45 jobs at a 170-employee plant in the United Kingdom. The Kendal factory's work producing infant milk destined for China will be moved to a New Zealand-based company that will co-pack the product. Heinz said it has become "increasingly uncompetitive" to supply the milk from the UK. Instead, the factory will focus on making infant products for the UK and Europe. The plan is subject to a consultation process with the plant's employees and their representatives. Heinz was acquired last week by 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway.

RNs approve strike notice

Registered nurses at Heritage Valley Beaver have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike notice if a new contract is not reached with managers. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania said 98 percent of nurses who participated in Wednesday's vote supported the move. The current contract expires at the end of June.

Calls for 'kill switch' on phone

Law enforcement officials nationwide are demanding the creation of a "kill switch" that would render smartphones inoperable after they are stolen, New York's top prosecutor said Thursday in a warning to the world's smartphone manufacturers. Citing statistics showing that 1 in 3 robberies nationwide involve the theft of a mobile phone, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the formation of a coalition of law enforcement agencies devoted to stamping out what he called an "epidemic" of smartphone robberies.

No bribery found, GSK says

GlaxoSmithKline said Thursday it has investigated an accusation that its salespeople in China bribed doctors and found no evidence of wrongdoing. GlaxoSmithKline PLC is headquartered in Britain but has a presence in the United States, which could make it liable to penalties under U.S. anti-bribery laws.

Retail sales moved up in May

Retail sales rose 0.6 percent in May from April to $421.1 billion in sales -- a 4.3 percent increase from the same period a year earlier, the Commerce Department said. The increase largely came from car dealerships and home improvement stores.

Inventories rose in April

The Commerce Department said Thursday that business stockpiles rose 0.3 percent in April from March. That followed a 0.1 percent decline in March from February. Sales slipped 0.1 percent in April following a sharp 1.2 percent drop in March.

Foreclosures leap, repos drop

Completed foreclosures jumped 11 percent nationally in May from the previous month, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday. Home repossessions, however, were down 29 percent from May last year. Banks also started the foreclosure process on more homes last month. Foreclosure starts rose 4 percent from April, the firm said.

Moniz pledges speed on LNG

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says he will move "expeditiously" to review about 20 applications to export liquefied natural gas and will make decisions by the end of the year. A department study last year found exporting natural gas would benefit the U.S. economy.

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