In this morning's news...

Oct 12, 2011

Chrysler/UAW Tentative Agreement

Chrysler and the United Auto Workers have reached a tentative deal on a new four-year contract. The Associated Press reports:

The union says in a statement Wednesday that Chrysler will invest $4.5 billion in its plants under terms of the deal. The union gave few other details. But the agreement is expected to be similar to deals reached earlier with General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. Workers at those companies gave up pay raises for most union members in exchange for profit-sharing payments. The Chrysler deal covers 26,000 workers.

State Budget Surplus

A legislative agency says Michigan is taking in a lot more money than it expects to spend as the books are about to close on the last fiscal year, Rick Pluta reports. “The revenue estimates from the state House Fiscal Agency say the state appears to be in line to reap $285 million more than expected. That includes a $145 million windfall for the School Aid Fund. Some Democrats say a portion of that money should be used to restore cuts to K-12 schools. But Republican leaders say the economy remains shaky, and the state should not be too quick to spend the money,” Pluta explains.

Great Lakes’ Health

Mercury levels in the Great Lakes have dropped over the past 40 years but, those levels are still high enough to pose risks to humans and wildlife, especially in many inland lakes, according to a new summary of the latest research on Great Lakes mercury levels. “Researchers summarized 35 new scientific papers to get a clearer picture of mercury in the Great Lakes. The good news: due to pollution controls, those levels continue to go down. But researchers are finding mercury has more wide-ranging effect than they initially thought. And in some species of fish and wildlife in particular areas, it appears mercury concentrations may be on the rise,” Sarah Cwiek reports.