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Business briefs: Trump Taj Mahal strike approved

From Wire Reports

Workers at Trump Taj Mahal have authorized a strike against the troubled Atlantic City casino as they await a federal appeals court ruling on whether the casino must restore health insurance and pension benefits that it scrapped last year.

Members of UNITE HERE Local 54, which represents nearly 1,000 service workers including bartenders, cooks, housekeepers and bellmen – but not casino dealers – voted Thursday to allow the union’s negotiating committee to call a strike, if they feel it’s necessary.

The union’s last contract expired in September 2014.

Trump Entertainment Resorts owns the property now, but lender Carl Icahn is taking ownership as it comes out of bankruptcy. Last year, the casino ended pension and health insurance for its unionized workers. That decision has been the center of litigation that’s now being contemplated by the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Icahn has said he’ll cut off funding and close the casino if courts force the restoration of benefits.

Hulu ponders ad-free service

Hulu, the video streaming service where you can binge on “Seinfeld” and (unwittingly) commercials, is considering a premium service tier that would cut the ads.

The subscription video-on-demand service now offers a paid subscription option at a cost of $7.99 a month that gives subscribers access to a wider range of its content. Now Hulu is eyeing a second, ad-free option that would launch as early as this fall and be in the price range of $12-$14. The Wall Street Journal first reported the tentative plan.

The ad load has long been a complaint among some users disenchanted with having to endure breaks in their viewing. And Hulu has been considering an ad-free option for years. When users took to social media to blast the ad breaks in the after-hours of “Seinfeld’s” launch on the site, Hulu’s Twitter account replied to some users that it hadn’t ruled out an ad-free plan.

Boeing taking KC-46 charge

NEW YORK – The Boeing Co. said Friday that it plans to take a $536 million charge that will help it keep the KC-46 aerial refueling tanker program on schedule.

The company said the after-tax charge, which amounts to 77 cents per share, will be reflected in its second-quarter financial results.

Boeing said it is investing the “necessary resources” to keep the program on schedule for delivering the initial 18 tankers to the U.S. Air Force by August 2017 and building 179 tankers by 2027.

EU panel calls for pilot tests

BRUSSELS – A European Union task force on Friday recommended pre-employment psychological evaluations and random drug and alcohol testing for pilots to prevent a repeat of the Germanwings disaster.

The panel, led by the European Aviation Safety Agency, was formed in response to the March 24 crash of a German airliner in France that killed all 150 people onboard.

Experts say the plane’s co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, who reportedly had a history of mental illness, deliberately flew the jet into a mountain after locking the pilot out of the cockpit.

“Key players in aviation and medical science worked closely together within the task force,” Patrick Ky, EASA’s executive director, said in a statement. “This report is the result of a thorough analysis with practical recommendations, so that such a tragic event does not happen again.”

The group’s recommendations include ensuring the presence of “two persons in the cockpit at all times.” The panel also said airline pilots should have to undergo psychological evaluation before they are allowed to enter service, and their employers should institute random testing for drugs and alcohol.

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