Merck To Allow Sinopharm To Sell Covid Drug In China

By Brooks M. Deering, The Chicago Times

September 29, 2022

NEW YORK — Merck & Co announced on Wednesday that it will allow China based Sinopharm to distribute and import Merck’s COVID-19 antiviral drug molnupiravir in China, pending approval by the Chinese government.

In a statement, Merck said it reached a cooperation framework agreement that grants Sinopharm  distribution and exclusive import rights of the medicine on the Chinese mainland.  In addition, Merck agreed to allow Sinopharm’s affiliate, China National Biotec Group, to manufacture the drug under a transfer technology agreement.

Northrop Grumman: Delivers Over 100,000 Artillery Guidance Kits To US Army

By John McPhaul, The Chicago Times

September 29, 2022

FALLS CHURCH, VA — Northrop Grumman Corporation announced Wednesday the delivery of more than 100,000 Precision Guidance Kits for 155mm artillery projectiles to the U.S. Army.  The PGK replaces standard fusing for conventional projectiles currently in inventory.

US Army

“PGK’s precision provides a critical capability to artillery units, enabling forces to rapidly achieve mission success by reducing the number of rounds required to defeat targets.  Throughout our 100,000 deliveries, we’ve maintained superior performance, surpassing the Army’s objectives for both accuracy and reliability,” said Dave Fine, vice president for armament systems, Northrop Grumman. 

According to Northrop Grumman:

“Once implemented, PGK will be one of the largest production programs within the U.S. Department of Defense to integrate this crucial capability that allows authorized users to acquire two signals from GPS satellites to achieve superior positioning accuracy.”

TreeHouse Foods Announces Recall Of Italian Dressing

By The Chicago Times Business Staff

September 23, 2022

OAK BROOK, IL  – TreeHouse Foods, Inc. announces a voluntarily recall of Restaurant Style Italian Dressing sold under the brand name Tuscan Garden.

“The recall is being conducted because the product is labeled as Restaurant Style Italian Dressing, while some of the bottles may contain Asian Sesame Dressing. The Restaurant Style Italian Dressing label indicates the allergens egg and dairy are in the product while the Asian Sesame Dressing product contains the allergens soy and wheat. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy or wheat run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product,” Tree House wrote in a statement.

Product information:

Product was distributed nationwide through Aldi between August 23, 2022, and September 23, 2022.  The product at issue can be identified by the UPC number and best if used by date which can be found below the neck of the bottle.

Description: Tuscan Garden Restaurant Style Italian Dressing                                                     

Size: 16 oz          

UPC Number: 4099100074871  

Expiration Date: 08/10/2023

TreeHouse Foods discovered the issue after receiving two complaints from the store level. At this time, TreeHouse has not received any reports of an allergic reaction associated with this product.

Consumers who have purchased any of the above products are urged to dispose of or return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with any questions may call 800- 596-2902, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (EST).

Metra To Run Normal Schedule

By Jeff L. Tucker, The Chicago Times

September 15, 2022

CHICAGO – Metra announced Thursday that schedules will return to normal operations as threat of a rail worker’s strike is over.

“We are happy to report that in the overnight hours a tentative agreement was reached between freight railroads and their unions, averting a strike that could have started tonight and halted service on the BNSF and three Union Pacific lines. We are greatly relieved that we will be able to continue to provide the safe and reliable service that you deserve and that you rely upon. Please accept our apologies for this week of uncertainty and anxiety, and our thanks for your patience and understanding. The late Thursday evening trains that had been cancelled by BNSF and Union Pacific in anticipation of a strike will now run as scheduled,” Metra said in a press release.

Cineworld Considers Bankruptcy

By The Chicago Times Business Staff

August 22, 2022

BRENTFORD, UK — Cineworld, the owner of Regal Cinemas, announced Monday that is considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S.

“Any such filing would be expected to allow the Group to access near-term liquidity and support the orderly implementation of a fully funded deleveraging transaction.  Cineworld would expect to maintain its operations in the ordinary course until and following any filing and ultimately to continue its business over the longer term with no significant impact upon its employees,” Cineworld said in a statement.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy consideration comes on the heels of Cineworld’s announcement last week that current admission levels are well below expectations despite an improving post pandemic recovery since reopening its theaters in April 2021.  However, as film releases slow, Cineworld expects admission levels to drop for the remainder of the year.

Cineworld is the second-largest movie theater chain in the world behind AMC Theatres.

Photo: Ewan Munro from London.

Intelligentsia Coffee To Unionize; Patrons Can Expect To Pay More 

By Al Brown, The Chicago Times

August 9, 2022

CHICAGO – Five of Intelligentsia Coffee’s cafes in Chicago have voted to join a union, making Intelligentsia the third coffee house to go union.  Consumers can expect price hikes as Intelligentsia looks to offset union costs.

According to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Local 1220), 27 employees at five locations “voted” to join the union.  However, the National Labor Relations Board, which supervised the vote, admitted most employees did not cast a ballot.  This could be a signal that many employees are wary of union control.  The vote was 9-1 in favor of the IBEW slithering into Intelligentsia’s workforce.

The IBEW attempted to force an additional 15 employees at Intelligentsia’s Chicago Roasting Works, 1850 W. Fulton St. to unionize.  However, Intelligentsia rightly claimed that the additional workers are managers and should not be unionized.  The IBEW then agreed to target only store workers.  IBEW spokesman openly said roastery workers are in the cross-hairs in the next attempt to unionize.