NO GEMPERLE EGGS FOR TRADER JOE'S: Trader Joe's announced Thursday that it will stop carrying eggs from Gemperle Farms, a Turlock-based producer, because of allegations that some of its laying hens were abused. The announcement came two days after Mercy for Animals, a Chicago-based group, released an undercover video showing what it claimed were abuses at egg farms near Hilmar and Delhi. Gemperle Farms representatives could not be reached for comment about the Trader Joe's announcement. Earlier this week, company President Steve Gemperle said it "doesn't tolerate the abuse of animals." He also questioned whether the video was shot at his operation. Trader Joe's spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki says the chain decided it doesn't want to carry eggs from Gemperle Farms because "it is of utmost importance that all of our vendors abide by industry-established animal care practices."
COIN INGREDIENTS CHANGE TO SENATE: The House voted for cheaper change Thursday, the kind that would make pennies and nickels worth more than they cost to make and save the country $100 million a year. The unanimous vote advances the legislation to the Senate, but its prospects are muddled by objections from the Bush administration and some lawmakers. The bill would require the U.S. Mint to switch from a zinc and copper penny, which costs 1.26 cents each to make, to a copper-plated steel penny, which would cost 0.7 cents to make, according to the Mint. It also would require nickels -- made of copper and nickel, and costing 7.7 cents -- to be made primarily of steel. That would drop the cost of making the nickel below its face value.
THREE CARRIERS ADD $20 TO ROUND-TRIP FARES: The three biggest U.S. carriers said Thursday they have again raised ticket prices, this time by $20 per round trip, to recoup rapidly rising fuel costs. The increases by American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines affect the carriers' fuel surcharges, which total $130 per round trip on many of these companies' flights. That means passengers on some cheap flights could be paying more in fees and taxes than for the airfare. Struggling Delta Air Lines Inc. initiated the increase, which applies to most domestic routes.
GM ANTES UP TO END PARTS STRIKE: General Motors Corp. has agreed to kick in up to $200 million to help bring an end to a bitter 10-week strike at parts supplier American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc. The automaker said Thursday in a government filing that the money would go for temporary payments to buffer reduced wages for the workers, as well as employee buyout and early retirement packages. About 3,600 United Auto Workers at five American Axle factories have been on strike since Feb. 26. The strike has crippled GM's production of pickups and sport utility vehicles and hurt its bottom line.
Never miss a local story.
BUSINESSES DON'T PUT IN FOR PHONE TAX REFUND: As of last November, less than 6 percent of business taxpayers filing returns had made claims for the Telephone Excise Tax Refund, a once-only payback for a now defunct tax, according to the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. The most far-reaching tax refund in the history of the Internal Revenue Service was estimated to affect 13.9 million to 15.9 million business taxpayers. But the inspector general report made public Thursday said only 720,000 of the 12.8 million business taxpayers who had filed returns -- less than 6 percent -- had made phone tax refund claims, and the refunds associated with those claims amounted to only $876.6 million, or 17.5 percent of the $5 billion collected. The report said it was unclear why so few businesses claimed the refund.
BEE NEWS SERVICES
51: Percentage of the U.S. managerial work force that is made up of women, according to a survey by the Simmons School of Management
15: Estimated percentage of board membership of large, publicly traded U.S. corporations that are women
1, 2, 3: Ranks of social network building (88 percent), self-promotion (61 percent) and career progression (56 percent) as the actions identified by women that they could take to increase their chances for board membership
UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE