Trane moving work from Ky. to SC
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The owner of a Kentucky plant says it's closing the facility sometime in the next 15 months, a move expected to put 600 hourly workers out of a job.
Ingersoll Rand is parent of Trane, which opened the Lexington plant in 1963. News outlets report the parent company said in a news release Thursday it will consolidate operations in South Carolina at a Columbia plant, where it plans to hire more than 750 workers.
The Lexington plant makes components and units for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said he's asked his team to help as the employees look for new jobs and said Lexington's strong economy and low unemployment will benefit them. Union president Marty Leslie said the closing could affect more employees than the company estimates.
Amazon cuts bonuses, stock benefits
NEW YORK — Amazon made a big splash this week with its $15 an hour minimum wage announcement, but lost in the fine print: Existing warehouse workers will no longer receive stock in the company or collect bonuses.
The online giant says next month it will end bonuses, which paid workers extra based on their attendance and warehouse productivity, as it boosts its minimum wage.
Amazon will also phase out its restricted stock unit program, which gave shares to workers if they stayed with Amazon for a certain amount of years. Amazon says it will replace it with a program next year that will allow workers to buy stock, but didn't provide details.
Amazon.com Inc. says "compensation will be more immediate and predictable" with the changes. The company said its other benefits, such as 401(k) retirement accounts and health insurance, were not changed.
DuPont gets new logo ahead of split
WILMINGTON, Del. — Ahead of next year's spin-off, the division that will retain the DuPont name has a new look.
News outlets report temporary holding company DowDuPont unveiled DuPont's new logo Wednesday.
While retaining its predecessor's oval shape, it ditches the red ribbon around the company name, now bolder. Now gone is the space between "Du" and "Pont," a legacy holdover still used by some of the namesake family.
The company's statement says the new design recognizes the company's heritage "while conveying our focus on a customer-led innovation strategy."
The specialty products division will become the new DuPont company in June. It will remain based in Delaware, along with agriculture spinoff Corteva Agriscience.
The Michigan-based materials science division will keep the Dow name after it spins off in April.
Hams sold in SC being recalled
WASHINGTON — Federal officials have ordered a recall of ham products from a North Carolina company after investigators found listeria contamination which led to one death.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said Wednesday the ready-to-eat hams were produced by Johnston County Hams of Smithfield between April 3, 2017, to Oct. 2, 2018 and shipped to distributors in Maryland, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina and Virginia. The hams weigh between 7 and 8 pounds and carry establishment number "EST. M2646" inside the USDA inspection mark.
Department officials were notified last month that a person got sick after eating a Johnston County Hams product. An investigation confirmed four listeriosis cases, including one death, between July 8, 2017 and Aug. 11, 2018.
Cuomo: JFK Airport to get $13B overhaul
NEW YORK — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Kennedy International Airport will undergo a seven-year, $13 billion transformation that will boost passenger capacity by the millions while turning the aging facility into a world-class air travel hub.
Expanding on an announcement he made in January 2017, Cuomo says the rebuilt JFK Airport will feature two new international terminals, centralized ground transportation and better roadways.
He says the improvements will increase the airport's capacity by at least 15 million passengers a year. It currently handles about 60 million annually.
Construction is expected to begin in 2020. The first new gates are scheduled to open three years later, with most of the project completed in 2025.
Jim Beam's parent names next CEO
NEW YORK — The executive who guided classic American whiskeys Jim Beam and Maker's Mark through the transition of being acquired by a Japanese company four years ago has announced he'll step down as CEO of spirits company Beam Suntory next spring.
The company said Thursday that its top executive, Matt Shattock, will hand over CEO duties to Albert Baladi next April. Baladi currently is Beam Suntory's chief operating officer and president of North American operations.
During Shattock's tenure, the company's annual sales more than doubled to $4.3 billion.
Beam Suntory says Shattock will remain a member of its board as nonexecutive chairman and a board member of beverage company Suntory Holdings, the Japanese-based parent company of Beam Suntory.
Mortgage rates pause and move lower
WASHINGTON — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged slightly lower this week, taking a pause after five straight weeks of increases.
Costs for would-be homebuyers have been climbing, and the key 30-year rate has been running at its highest levels in more than seven years. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages ticked down to 4.71 percent this week from 4.72 percent last week. The average benchmark rate has risen from 3.85 percent a year ago.
The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans slipped to 4.15 percent this week from 4.16 percent last week.
The Federal Reserve signaled its confidence in the economy last week by raising a key interest rate for a third time this year, forecasting another rate hike before year's end.
New plans for former La. shipyard site
AVONDALE, La. — Four years after it was shuttered for good, Avondale Shipyards is getting a new lease on life.
Gov. John Bel Edwards says the former shipyard site has been purchased and will be redeveloped into a global logistics hub. Edwards joined executives of the companies forming the joint venture — CEO Adam Anderson of T. Parker Host and CEO Roberto Perez of Hilco Redevelopment Partners — at a ceremony Thursday to announce the new plans. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Edwards says the project represents a "great opportunity to bring new investment, jobs and prosperity back to Avondale, with a sharp focus on attracting logistics and manufacturing leaders in the global economy."
US opens probe of Denmark's top bank
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The United States government has opened a criminal investigation into the flow of dirty money through the Estonian branch of Denmark's biggest bank, the lender said Thursday.
Danske Bank says it is "in dialogue" with the U.S. Department of Justice, which had asked for information after an internal report at the bank detailed a massive amount of money laundering through its subsidiary, with some reportedly even linked to family members of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Danske's interim chief executive, Jesper Nielsen, said "it is too early to speculate on any outcome of the investigations."
The results of Danske's internal investigation were published last month and found that some $235 billion flowing through the bank's accounts from 2007 to 2015 was suspicious. Its CEO resigned over the case.
Aetna HQ to stay for at least 10 years
HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut officials have received official assurances that CVS Health Corp. will keep Aetna Inc. in Hartford for at least the next decade.
The pledge is included in a commitment letter CVS delivered Wednesday to the Connecticut Insurance Department.
CVS had said in January that it had no plans to move Aetna, reversing last year's announcement by the insurance giant that it would move its headquarters to another state. Hartford has been Aetna's home since 1853.
CVS announced last December that it was buying Aetna.