Business news briefs: SEIU, UPMC settlement resolution talks underway

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SEIU, UPMC settlement resolution talks underway

The regional director for the National Labor Relations Board said Friday that "about a dozen" unfair labor practices filed against UPMC by SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania have merit and both sides are now in settlement resolution talks. "If we are unable to work out a resolution then the next step would be to issue a complaint and schedule a trial, but we're not there yet," said Region 6 director Robert W. Chester. Among the accusations by SEIU, which is trying to organize UPMC service workers, is that the health system fired some employees illegally and intimidated workers who support the union organizing effort.

In response, UPMC issued the following statement: "The NLRB has not determined that UPMC has violated any labor laws. Its regional office has set in motion a process that could, if the claims are not resolved, go to a hearing before an administrative law judge. At any such hearing, UPMC would have a full opportunity to defend against the claims, which we believe are without foundation."

Mulally plans to continue serving as Ford's leader

Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally said he intends to stay as head of the second-biggest U.S. carmaker through next year, following reports that Microsoft Corp. may seek to recruit him to replace CEO Steve Ballmer, who announced he plans to leave the company in the next 12 months. "I plan to continue to serve as Ford's president and CEO until at least the end of 2014," to remain "absolutely laser focused" on earnings growth, Mr. Mulally, 68, wrote in an email to Bloomberg News Friday.

Judge: Apple must modify contracts with publishers

A judge Friday ordered Apple to modify contracts with publishers to prevent electronic book price fixing and said she will appoint an external compliance monitor to review the company's antitrust policies and training. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote's order came nearly two months after she concluded that Apple Inc. used the popularity of its iTunes store to conspire with publishers to raise e-book prices in 2010. Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said the Cupertino, Calif., company will appeal the order.

UAW, Volkswagen discuss Tenn. factory representation

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.

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