Economy Briefs: Airbus says 2,000 jobs at risk over China order freeze

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SWITZERLAND

Airbus: 2,000 jobs at risk over China order freeze

GENEVA | The head of Airbus says up to 2,000 jobs are at risk because Chinese airlines have frozen orders for 55 jets worth $14 billion in protest at the European Union’s emissions trading plan.

Airbus CEO Tom Enders says the move jeopardizes 1,000 jobs at the company in Europe and another 1,000 in its supply chain.

Mr. Enders spoke Thursday at an airline industry meeting in Geneva.

The EU introduced the trading system at the start of the year as part of European efforts to reduce global warming.

Airlines flying to or from Europe must obtain certificates for carbon dioxide emissions.

The United States, China, Russia, India and many other countries are opposed and say the bloc cannot impose taxes on flights outside its own airspace.

CONNECTICUT

Bagel guru Lender dies at age 81 in Florida

HARTFORD | Murray Lender, who helped turn his father’s small Connecticut bakery into a national company that introduced bagels to many Americans for the first time, has died in Florida. He was 81.

Mr. Lender’s wife, Gillie Lender, tells the Associated Press that her husband died Wednesday at a hospital in Miami from complications from a fall he suffered 10 weeks ago. The couple lived in both Aventura, Fla., and Woodbridge, Conn.

Mr. Lender’s father, Harry Lender, founded Lender’s Bagels in New Haven in 1927. After Harry Lender died in 1960, his sons Murray and Sam ran the company and oversaw its expansion. Lender’s Bagels was sold to Kraft Foods in 1984. It’s now owned by Pinnacle Foods Group.

Murray Lender’s funeral is set for Sunday in Woodbridge.

GERMANY

Merkel meets with union leaders over debt crisis

BERLIN | German Chancellor Angela Merkel met union leaders from across Europe on Thursday to discuss the eurozone debt crisis - a meeting they said was a welcome gesture but underlined differences over the austerity policies Mrs. Merkel has favored.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, has stressed that its partners in the eurozone must get their public finances in order and has championed labor market reforms. That approach has led to big spending cuts in struggling countries and has been met by strikes.

“It was important that these talks took place at all,” Michael Sommer, Germany’s top union official, told reporters after the meeting. “From my point of view, it was a necessary piece of confidence-building, and more must follow.”

He said that “nothing went unsaid” and the two sides agreed that more needs to be done to use existing European Union funds to help revive struggling countries.

Spanish union officials said they were glad the meeting took place, but stressed their position that labor-market reforms launched by Spain’s new government - and enthusiastically welcomed by Mrs. Merkel - won’t help dent the country’s unemployment, which is the eurozone’s highest.

NEW YORK

American Airlines aims to cancel labor contracts

NEW YORK | An attorney representing American Airlines says that if the company can’t reach cost-cutting deals with labor unions, it will ask a federal bankruptcy judge to throw out union contracts.

The company will seek to void several collective-bargaining agreements that have been under intense negotiations since American and parent AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection Nov. 29.

Attorney Harvey Miller said Thursday that both the company and the unions have negotiated in good faith, but he doesn’t expect American Airlines parent company AMR Corp. and the unions to reach consensus.

Unions for pilots, flight attendants and ground workers have been expecting just such a move.

TENNESSEE

Volkswagen to add 800 jobs at Passat plant

CHATTANOOGA | Volkswagen will add 800 new jobs at its Chattanooga, Tenn., plant to boost production of the Passat sedan.

The new jobs will increase the plant’s workforce to more than 3,500 by the end of the year, the German company said Thursday. The additional workers will be used to bolster the existing two shifts at the plant, and expand production to Saturday, it said.

“We’re adding a third team at this plant for a simple reason: Customers want to buy Passats,” said Jonathan Browning, the president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.

VW rolls out 35 cars an hour at the plant, which surpassed 50,000 vehicles in February. VW built its first Passat at the plant in April.

“Volkswagen is definitely on a roll in this market,” Mr. Browning said. “I can assure you, we don’t plan to stop.”

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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