Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 19, 2013

Business in Brief: 02/19/2013


Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — Workers at Spain’s Iberia begin strikes

MADRID — Protesters clashed with police at Madrid’s international airport as ground staff and cabin crews for Spain’s Iberia began 15 days of strikes to protest plans to lay off 3,800 staff.

The company, which is looking to cut jobs after it reported substantial losses last year, says the stoppages will lead to more than 1,200 flight cancelations over the next three weeks, including 236 the first day.

Police used batons to push back hundreds of protesters as they tried to enter the terminal at midday. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Other demonstrations took place at airports around the country.

A government decree on minimum services guarantees 90 percent of long-haul flights, 61 percent of medium-haul and 46 percent of domestic flights on stoppage days.

Unions representing most Iberia workers, but not pilots, have called the strikes between Feb. 18-22, March 4-8 and March 18-22.

The company says it has found seats on other flights for most of the 70,000 passengers affected.

Iberia, Lineas Aereas de Espana S.A., claims economic difficulties oblige it to make layoffs. The government has called on the company and unions to reach an agreement and end the strike.

Iberia merged with British Airways to create International Airlines Group in 2011.

Palisades plant shut down for repairs

COVERT TOWNSHIP — The Palisades nuclear power plant in southwestern Michigan has been shut down for repairs after workers spent several days trouble-shooting its cooling water heat exchanger system.

Plant spokesman Mark Savage said in an email that the plant was disconnected from the state’s electrical grid just before 5 p.m. Friday. He gave no timetable for the repairs but says the plant along Lake Michigan’s shoreline in Van Buren County’s Covert Township would be returned to service when they are completed.

Savage says electrical work on the main generator disconnect switch in the plant’s switchyard also will be performed.

The plant owned by New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. has been under extra scrutiny by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after numerous safety issues and shutdowns.

Retired Green Bay publisher Gage dies

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Michael Gage, the former publisher of the Green Bay Press-Gazette and president of the Packers Hall of Fame board, has died, his wife said Monday. He was 75.

Gage’s wife, Patty Gage, said he died Sunday of heart problems after collapsing Thursday.

Gage retired in 1992, ending his family’s dynasty as operators of the paper, according to the newspaper (http://gbpg.net/UyjnzB). Gage’s grandfather, Andrew Turnbull, was one of three men who started the paper in 1915 and was its first publisher. Gage’s uncle, Daniel Beisel, was its second publisher, and Gage was its third.

In 1980, Gage became vice president of the Green Bay Newspaper Co. and the Press-Gazette’s general manager. He helped engineer the sale of the company to Gannett Co., after which he was named publisher.

That year, he also became a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame board of directors.