Business news briefs: ArcelorMittal said to have backed off benefit demand
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The United Steelworkers union said Friday that ArcelorMittal has backed off its demand that new employees not be entitled to pension benefits. The current contract covering 12,500 USW-represented workers at the Luxembourg-based steel maker's U.S. plants expires today. So does a similar agreement covering about 13,000 workers at U.S. Steel's U.S. plants.
Universal Stainless & Alloy Products said senior vice president of operations William W. Beible Jr. resigned to pursue other interests. Mr. Beible, who held the position since he joined the Bridgeville-based specialty steel producer in February 2009, was given severance pay of $246,000, his annual salary.
Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker, said it expects to maintain the sales pace for its Focus compact car, which outsold the Toyota Corolla to be the world's best-selling car in the first six months this year. Ford sold 489,616 units of the Focus in the January-to-June period, compared with 462,187 Corollas, the automaker said in a statement Friday, citing data from IHS Automotive.
British Airways' parent company, International Airlines Group, says it has signed a nondisclosure agreement with American Airlines, allowing it to look at the company's books. Foreign investors are prohibited from owning more than 25 percent of a U.S. airline. The two airlines already have a joint business agreement for flights across the Atlantic Ocean and were founding members of the OneWorld frequent flier alliance. Earlier on Friday US Airways and American's parent, AMR Corp., announced that the two airlines had signed similar agreements.
Diet Pepsi is tweaking its formula to stay sweet a little longer. PepsiCo Inc. is testing new artificial sweeteners that let the soda keep its taste for a longer period of time. The current sweetener used in the soda loses its potency faster than high fructose corn syrup, the sweetener used in most regular sodas. A person with knowledge of the situation says the new version will use the same formula that creates Diet Pepsi's overall taste. But it will use a mix of artificial sweeteners that has a longer shelf life.
Taco Bell said Friday that it's adding Mtn Dew A.M -- a mix of Mountain Dew soda and Tropicana orange juice -- to its breakfast menu. Separately, Beverage Digest said PepsiCo Inc. next year plans to introduce a drink made with juice, Mountain Dew Kickstart.
First Published September 1, 2012 12:00 am