Teamsters, UPS set to resume negotiations as deadline approaches

LABORTeamsters, UPS set to resume negotiations as deadline approachesThe Teamsters union said Wednesday that it will resume contract negotiations with UPS next week, marking an end to a stalemate that began two weeks ago when both sides walked away from talks while blaming each other. The union, which represents 340,000 UPS workers, credited the picketing and rallies it’s been holding across the country for getting the delivery company back to the negotiating table before the current contract expires on July 31. It said UPS reached out to resume negotiations. In a statement, the company confirmed negations will resume next week and said it was pleased to go back and “resolve the few remaining open issues.” Before contract talks broke down, both sides had reached tentative agreements on several issues, including installing air conditioning in more trucks and getting rid of a two-tier wage system for drivers who work weekends and earn less money. A sticking point in negotiations has been wage increases for part-time workers, who make a minimum of $16.20 an hour. The Teamsters represent more than half of the Atlanta-based company’s workforce in the largest private-sector contract in North America. If a strike does happen, as the union has been threatening, it would be the first since a roughly two-week walkout by 185,000 workers crippled the company a quarter century ago. ― ASSOCIATED PRESSGet TrendlinesA business newsletter from Globe Columnist Larry Edelman covering the trends shaping business and the economy in Boston and beyond.TECHNOLOGYMicrosoft offers free security feature after alleged China cyber hackUnder pressure from US cybersecurity officials, Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday said it would provide free cloud security logs for all customers in the next few months. Security logs are critical for detecting and preventing cybersecurity threats, in addition to allowing hacking victims to quickly take action following a breach, according to US officials. Microsoft currently charges for some forms of logging as a premium feature. Microsoft said its decision was “in response to increasing frequency and evolution of nation-state cyberthreats.” Customers will receive detailed logs of email access and more than 30 other types of log data previously only available to customers paying for a premium service, the company said. The decision comes after suspected Chinese hackers infiltrated cloud-based email systems at about 25 organizations globally, including several US agencies. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo was among the US officials whose emails were breached. ― BLOOMBERG NEWSTRADEChina will retaliate if Biden imposes new investment limits, says envoyChina’s government will retaliate if the Biden administration imposes new limits on technology and capital that can flow to the nation, Beijing’s envoy in Washington said. Xie Feng, the nation’s new ambassador to the United States, said that while China doesn’t want a trade or technology war, its leaders won’t sit on their hands in the face of US actions such as a planned screening mechanism for investment in key Chinese industries. He didn’t detail what actions China would take. US officials are seeking to wrap up a proposal by the end of August for a long-delayed program to screen and possibly prohibit investment in China’s semiconductor, quantum-computing, and artificial intelligence sectors, according to people familiar with the plans. Xie’s comments indicate Beijing may not have been assuaged by assurances from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who told Bloomberg Television this week that the restrictions would be “narrowly targeted.” ― BLOOMBERG NEWSSTREAMING SERVICESNetflix dropping its cheapest ad-free monthly planNetflix has stopped offering its lowest-priced commercial-free plan in the United States and the UK. The change means new or rejoining customers can no longer sign up for the $9.99 a month basic ad-free service. Subscribers who have that plan can stay with it, the company said. The change will push consumers in one of two directions. Cost-conscious shoppers will be more likely to choose the cheaper plan with commercials, while people who want ad-free viewing will have to choose a pricier plan. The cheapest ad-free plan is now priced at $15.49 a month in the United States, according to the company’s website. The standard plan with advertising is priced at $6.99 monthly and the premium plan, which allows more users and offers ultra-high definition, is $19.99. ― BLOOMBERG NEWSFAST FOODIn-N-Out Burger bans masks for employees in 5 statesIn-N-Out Burger is banning employees in five states from wearing masks to “promote clear and effective communication” and showcase “our associates’ smiles,” according to a memo leaked online. The West Coast chain known for its streamlined menu of burgers and fries and retro decor, said the rule extended to stores and support facilities in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Utah unless a worker produced a doctor’s note. Violators face disciplinary action leading “up to and including termination,” according to the policy, which takes effect next month. A separate memo advised Oregon and California employees the chain would allow only store-provided N95 masks on the job. “We believe this policy will also help to promote clear and effective communication both with our customers and among our associates,” the memo reads. In-N-Out Burger did not respond to an inquiry placed through its media relations website. A customer service representative confirmed details of both memos. ― WASHINGTON POSTECONOMYInflation in UK slows to 7.9 percent as price pressures easeConsumer prices in Britain rose 7.9 percent in June from a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said Wednesday, the slowest pace of inflation in more than a year. The slowdown, which was greater than economists had expected, will bring some relief to the government after months when inflation repeatedly turned out higher than forecast. The annual rate of price growth slowed from 8.7 percent in May. The decline was driven by a large drop in the price of motor fuels. Food prices rose 17.3 percent in June from a year earlier. That’s still high, but food inflation has fallen from a peak of 19 percent in April. The easing of price increases also helped pull down the overall rate of inflation. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, was 6.9 percent in June, down from 7.1 percent the previous month. ― NEW YORK TIMESEMPLOYMENT‘Work from anywhere’ jobs draw record demand this summerSummer travel has surged after three pandemic years. That red-hot demand has shown up in job seekers’ preferences, as thousands search for work that allows them to take long-awaited trips without spending all their paid time off. According to a new report from job search platform Flexa, the share of job seekers expressing a preference for companies that offer some kind of “work from anywhere” program rose to 88 percent in June from 80 percent in April — the highest since the company began tracking last year. At the same time, the share expressing a preference for fully remote jobs rose to 59 percent from 52 percent over the same period. Top financial services firms such as American Express, Visa, and Mastercard, along with tech giants like Alphabet, are some of the major employers who have adopted “work from anywhere” week policies. This generally means employees keep an in-office presence for most of the year with two to four weeks of fully remote work. Flexa analyzed more than 350,000 searches and the preferences expressed by more than 8,000 job seekers between April and June. Preferences are gathered through a survey that’s completed when job seekers create an account and are updated periodically. ― BLOOMBERG NEWS

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