Sikorsky shuttering NYS plant
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., citing declining military budgets and a tough economy, said it will close its plant in western New York State and eliminate all 570 jobs. Employees at the 5-year-old facility, who have seen their ranks dwindle from a peak of 1,300, were told the plant would close as of Dec. 31; its work will be transitioned to Sikorsky's West Palm Beach, Fla., facility. The Military Completion Center in Chemung County customizes military helicopters sold to foreign governments. Sikorsky bought the plant in 2004 and three years later opened a new $15-million, 100,000-square-foot facility near the Elmira Corning Regional Airport.
Video service for Nook coming
Barnes & Noble Inc. says it will launch a video service this fall that lets users buy and watch movies and TV shows on their mobile devices and televisions. The Manhattan-based company says users of Nook Video will be able to shop an extensive collection of movies and shows from major studios including HBO, Sony Pictures, Viacom and Warner Brothers. The move into video puts Barnes & Noble more directly into competition with other online video providers, including Amazon.com and Apple Inc. Users will be able to download videos and view them on Barnes & Noble's Nook tablets and other devices with the Nook Video app, which the company plans to launch soon.
American asks for labor talks
There could be progress in breaking the standoff between American Airlines and its pilots, which appears to have caused a spike in canceled and delayed flights. American formally asked the pilots' union to resume negotiations on a new labor contract. A spokesman said the union board will meet Wednesday to decide on the next step. Pilots and management at American have been bickering for years, but the conflict came to a head this month when a federal bankruptcy judge allowed the airline to break its contract with pilots. American set new pay and work rules that could lead to outsourcing more flying to other airlines. Almost immediately, delays and cancellations rose sharply at American, the nation's third-biggest airline. American canceled more than 300 flights last week, and the new week began no better.
Toys R Us set to hire 45,000
Toys R Us is hiring 45,000 seasonal workers to staff 150 to 200 pop-up stores and help fulfill its expanded customer services, like shipping online purchases to stores, this holiday. That's a nearly 13 percent jump from the 40,000 seasonal workers the Wayne, N.J.-based company hired in 2011. Toys R Us, like many retailers, hires thousands of temporary workers during the important holiday season, which can account for up to 40 percent of a retailer's annual revenue. Toys R Us said part of the increase is to help fulfill customer orders made with its new online shipping options, such as ordering online and picking up items in store; as well as its free layaway program and its new toy reservation system.
Calif. steers to self-driving cars
Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday that will pave the way for driverless cars in California. The bill will establish safety and performance regulations to test and operate autonomous vehicles on state roads and highways. Brown signed it at the headquarters of Google Inc., which has been developing autonomous car technology and lobbying for the regulations. Self-driving cars sound like science fiction but are already cruising California's roads and could be sold commercially within the next decade. Google's fleet of 12 computer-controlled vehicles -- mostly Toyota Priuses equipped with self-driving technology -- has logged more than 300,000 miles without an accident, the company said. -- AP