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I-Team Follow-Up: Battle Creek back pay

Updated: Saturday, August 3, 2013 |
I-Team Follow-Up: Battle Creek back pay story image
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - In a Newschannel 3 I-Team investigation, we revealed that after months of investigation, the Department of Labor found the City of Battle Creek owes its firefighters hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The controversy surrounds two years of inappropriately paid overtime.

But union leaders contend that the city owes even more than that, and that if the city doesn't make it right, it's in for a fight.

Union leaders have also told Newschannel 3 they have started the grievance process, and beyond union action, Battle Creek could be opening itself up to a class-action lawsuit by any and all of its employees who have been compensated incorrectly.

Leaders in multiple city departments have told Newschannel 3 that they believe the city could be on the hook for $1 to $2 million in back pay before the investigation and its fallout are through.

But City Manager Ken Tsuchiyama disagrees, and says that the payout won't be anywhere near that.

"The union went to the city several years ago, to make them aware of the violations. We tried to address some of the issues through the negotiation process." said Captain Chris Love, the Union President with Battle Creek Fire.

Love says that negotiations failed and now the grievances "are able to reach back much farther than what D.O.L. mandates."

He also claims that the union informed the city that the issue has been going on since 1989.

Thanks to the Department of Labor's finding, Love says, Battle Creek Fire can now file for breach of contract, which may entitle the department to six years of back pay--three times as much as the city is on the hook for right now.

In the midst of all of this, the Battle Creek City Commission is being asked to pass the 2013-14 budget, which includes across the board raises for all salaried employees.

Multiple commissioners have already said they will not pass any budget before all of the results of the labor department investigation are in.
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Business News

Last Update on September 19, 2014 17:24 GMT

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Alibaba's stock is surging as the Chinese e-commerce powerhouse begins its first day trading as a public company.

The stock opened at $92.70 on the New York Stock Exchange this morning, up 36 percent from the initial $68 per share price set Thursday evening.

At that price the company would be worth $228.5 billion, more than companies such as Amazon, Ebay and even Facebook.

On Thursday, Alibaba and the investment bankers arranging the IPO settled on a price of $68 per share. The company and its early investors raised $21.8 billion in the offering, which valued Alibaba at $168 billion in one of the world's biggest ever initial public offerings.

But after a two-hour trading delay due to strong demand, it opened much higher than that price. If the stock closes at $92.70, the IPO will have raised close to $30 billion.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A gauge designed to predict the economy's future health rose in August but at a much slower pace than in July.

The Conference Board says its index of leading indicators rose 0.2 percent in August, the seventh straight increase. But that was much slower than the revised 1.1 percent gain in July.

Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein says even with the slowdown in August, the index shows the economy is still gaining traction.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Unemployment rates rose in nearly half of U.S. states in August, even as employers in two-thirds of the states added jobs.

The Labor Department says unemployment increased in 24 states, fell in 15 and was unchanged in 11. Hiring picked up in 35 states, while it fell in 15.

Unemployment rates can rise even when hiring increases if more people start looking for work and don't immediately find jobs. The figures suggest hiring was broad-based across most regions of the country last month, even as nationwide job gains in August were the weakest this year.

Georgia reported the nation's highest unemployment rate, at 8.1 percent, followed by Mississippi at 7.9 percent. That's the first time Georgia has had the highest rate since the Great Recession ended.

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LONDON (AP) -- Businesses and investors have reacted with relief to Scotland's decision to reject independence from the United Kingdom.

The No campaign won 55 percent of the votes cast in Thursday's referendum. The 10-point victory margin was wider than expected -- most opinion polls on the eve of the vote showed a narrower 4-point victory.

British stocks responded positively to the news Friday, with the FTSE 100 index up 0.3 percent. Royal Bank of Scotland shares were up, and the bank, which is majority-owned by the U.K. government, said it was "business as usual" for its customers.

Some had warned that if Scotland left, uncertainty over the future value of the British pound and government debt would have rattled the U.K economy.

In the currency markets, the pound was solid too, rising to a two-year high against the euro.

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Exxon planned to drill the well between August and October. The latest round of sanctions called for the removal of U.S. workers on projects in the Russian Arctic by Sept. 26.

Exxon says it has received a license from the U.S. Treasury Department to wind down operations, but it is unclear whether the license will allow Exxon to stop drilling on the schedule it had already laid out. Exxon could not be immediately reached for comment.

PABST BREWING-SALE

NEW YORK (AP) -- The maker of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer is being sold to Russian company Oasis Beverages for an undisclosed sum.

In addition to its namesake beer, Pabst Brewing Co. makes Colt 45, Old Milwaukee and Schlitz. Pabst was acquired in 2010 by C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., which is known for investing in food brands.

Pabst Brewing, now based in Los Angeles, traces its roots back to 1844 in Milwaukee. Since purchasing it in 2010, Metropoulos has enlisted comedian Will Ferrell to market the company's beers. Pabst Blue Ribbon has also grown in popularity in part for its blue-collar appeal and cheap price.

Oasis is buying Pabst with TSG, an investment firm known for its work with consumer products companies. TSG Consumer Partners will take a minority stake in Pabst.

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