The daily business briefing: February 14, 2023
Tesla workers launch unionization campaign in New York state, Ford plans to cut 3,800 jobs in Europe, and more
Tesla employees in Buffalo, N.Y., launch campaign to unionize
Tesla workers in New York notified CEO Elon Musk in an email Tuesday that they were launching a campaign to unionize, seeking better pay and job security, Bloomberg reported. The workers are among the more than 800 Autopilot analysts who label data to train Tesla's Autopilot technology at the Tesla plant in Buffalo, New York. They said they wanted the electric-car maker to ease unhealthy production pressures, including the monitoring of keystrokes to track the time employees spend on tasks. "People are tired of being treated like robots," said Al Celli, a union organizing committee member. Musk and Tesla's human resources chief did not respond to requests for comment, Bloomberg reported.
Ford to cut 3,800 jobs in Europe
Ford Motor Co. plans to cut 3,800 product development and administrative jobs in Europe, mostly in Germany and the U.K., over three years to reduce costs as it shifts to making more electric vehicles, the company said Tuesday. Ford said it plans to keep about 3,400 engineers in Europe to focus on adapting technology developed in the U.S. or licensed from Volkswagen AG. Under the pivot to electric vehicles, Ford is investing $3.5 billion in a Michigan factory that will make electric vehicle batteries using technology licensed from Chinese supplier Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited, the world's biggest EV battery producer. That project, which will create 2,500 jobs, will be part of a growing U.S. supply chain for EV components.
Biden to name Lael Brainard as economic policy adviser
President Biden plans to name Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard as director of the National Economic Council, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Brainard will replace Brian Deese, who plans to step down this month. As the president's economic policy coordinator, Brainard will advise Biden on policy and personnel matters at a time when a possible recession looms, with high inflation and rising interest rates. Brainard, 61, is an economist who served as the Treasury Department's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013. She also served as an international economics adviser in the Clinton administration. Biden is expected to announce the appointment this week, the Journal said.
Stock futures edge higher ahead of key inflation data
U.S. stock futures rose slightly early Tuesday ahead of the release of the January consumer price index, a key inflation gauge. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, at 7 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were up 0.4 percent. Economists expect the data to show that the consumer price index rose 0.4 percent last month from December, and 6.2 percent compared to a year earlier, down from a 6.5 percent annual pace a month earlier. "All eyes are laser-focused" on the CPI report for indications on where the market is headed for the rest of the quarter and beyond, said Greg Bassuk, CEO at AXS Investments.
T-Mobile outage reported across U.S.
T-Mobile users reported widespread wireless service outages across the United States on Monday, according to Downdector.com and Produce-Reviews.net, which track service interruptions. Twitter users also reported disruptions. The number of reports peaked at more than 83,000 at about 10:30 p.m. and dropped to 9,000 by midnight, Downdetector.com reported. T-Mobile did not immediately say what caused the problems. "We have seen significant improvement and are operating at near normal levels," T-Mobile President of Technology Neville Ray said in a Twitter post early Tuesday. "Our teams continue to monitor and we greatly appreciate everyone's patience. We apologize for any impacts this issue may have had for our customers."