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Top News Links: Thursday, Sept. 24

Workers cite health costs in move to unionize

Workers at an automotive components manufacturing plant in northeast Alabama cited wage caps and growing use of temporary workers in their vote to join a labor union. Commercial Vehicle Group Inc. plant employees in Piedmont voted Wednesday to join the United Auto Workers. The plant, roughly 85 miles northeast of Birmingham, produces seats for large commercial trucks. Workers said in a release that they voted 89-45 to join UAW because of high health care costs in addition to pay issues and wider use of temps. – AP/STLToday

Time to quickly exit the biotech market?

Losses for U.S. biotech stocks have accelerated in the three days since Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton suggested there may be “price gouging” in the market for prescription pills. The best way forward for biotech investors may be to sell holdings, rather than hedge against potential losses, according to Walter “Bucky” Hellwig of Birmingham-based BB&T Wealth Management. – Bloomberg

Group to sue 3M, Decatur over chemical disposal

Environmental advocacy group Tennessee Riverkeeper announced Wednesday that it intends to sue chemical manufacturer 3M Company, the city of Decatur and others over what it called "an imminent and substantial endangerment to health and the environment" relating to disposal of the chemicals perfluorooctanoic acid, perfluorooctane sulfonate, and others in and around Decatur. – AL.com

Mobile to spend $800,000 on Carnival marketing

Mobile’s agreement with Carnival Cruise Lines to bring a ship back to Mobile doesn't include any cash incentives that other cities have had to provide in order to get a vessel. Houston, for instance, paid two cruise companies up to $6.7 million in incentives to attract two ships. Mobile will have to establish a marketing fund and pay $200,000 into it each quarter, or $800,000 a year. The money will be generated from parking revenues and used to market cruises from Mobile. – AL.com

Canfield cites Mexico as cloud on automaking horizon

Automotive manufacturers are on the move, expanding across the globe at an unprecedented rate – namely in Alabama. But Alabama's spot in the marketplace is not without competition. "Mexico’s rise as an auto-producing center represents a threat to the entire auto industry in the Southeast," said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. – Bizjournals.com

Analysts foresee $1.45 earnings a share from Mid America

Wall Street Analysts have given a mean estimate of $ 1.45 earnings per share to Mid America Apartment Communities. This figure is for MAA’s current quarter. Zack’s Research compiled the data from the brokerage firms who currently cover the stock. In October 2013, Mid America Apartment Communities Inc. and Colonial Properties Trust completed a merger of the two companies. – Springfield Bulletin

ADOR rule change may bring headaches

The Alabama Department of Revenue currently provides a “good standing certificate” upon request that indicates whether a taxpayer is current on its business privilege tax, but that may soon change. Act 2015-382, enacted this year, requires that ADOR provide a “compliance certificate” instead of a good standing certificate which will verify payment of all taxes owed by the taxpayer to ADOR, including income, sales and withholding, as well as the business privilege tax. – JDSupra

Study shows gaps in success for Pell Grant students

The University of Alabama and Michigan State University look pretty similar on paper. Students enter with similar standardized test scores and the proportions of low-income and underrepresented minority students on each campus are roughly the same. Yet students who receive a Pell Grant to attend MSU are far more likely -- by 20 percentage points -- to graduate within six years compared to their UA counterparts, according to a report published Thursday. – Inside Higher Ed

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