Harley-Davidson reaches deal with union leadership

Harley-Davidson Motor Co. and its union leaders reached a proposed labor agreement Friday that could keep manufacturing operations and hundreds of jobs in Wisconsin.

The proposal still needs to be ratified by union workers and approved by the motorcycle company’s board. Workers are expected to vote on the contract Sept. 13.

Harley previously said labor costs at its operations in Milwaukee and Tomahawk were too high. The company threatened to move production to another U.S. city if Wisconsin workers wouldn’t agree to certain labor concessions.

The company declined to reveal terms of the proposed contract. Mike Masik, who represents Harley’s largest union, United Steelworkers International, declined comment until he could discuss the contract with his members next week.

The Wisconsin facilities have 1,340 active employees, company spokesman Bob Klein said. He left open the idea that there could still be job reductions, even if the contract is approved.

Judge approves Kodak offer to settle class-action suits

A federal judge Friday approved Eastman Kodak Co.’s $21.4 million offer to settle class-action lawsuits by black employees who maintained white counterparts were favored over them for pay and promotion.

In an almost seven-year legal tussle, U.S. Magistrate Jonathan Feldman signed off on a deal that pays about 3,000 current and past Kodak workers amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. The decision ends a 2004 class-action lawsuit and a similar suit filed by other black workers in 2007.

The Rochester, N.Y.-based photography products maker was accused of paying black employees less than white co-workers, passing them over for promotions and maintaining a racially hostile work environment.

Under the settlement, 3,008 workers get $9.65 million and their lawyers $9.7 million in fees and expenses. Adjustments to individual awards were negotiated, with a dozen workers having $75,000 awards reduced by one-third.

The balance of the settlement will go to administering the claims and supporting enhanced diversity training for supervisors that Kodak promised as part of the deal.

Campbell Soup income rises despite sweltering summer

Summer is rarely a hot sales season for Campbell Soup Co., and this year’s sweltering June and July made that even more true, but the company said Friday that cost-cutting and strong drink sales helped its net income climb.

The results topped most Wall Street expectations, but Campbell’s outlook spooked many investors, and its shares slid 3 percent Friday.

The company reported that its fourth-quarter net income for fiscal year 2010 rose 63 percent from the same period last year to $113 million, or 33 cents per share. Excluding one-time items from 2009’s results, the increase was 7 percent.

The Camden, N.J., company posted better production numbers and benefited from lower taxes, yet sales fell slightly compared with the same period last year, from $1.53 billion to $1.52 billion for the quarter.

For the full fiscal year, they fell 1 percent, to $7.6 billion from $7.7 billion.

Goldcorp Inc. agrees to buy Andean Resources company

Canada’s Goldcorp Inc. said Friday it has agreed to buy Andean Resources Ltd. for about $3.42 billion, trumping a rival bid from Eldorado Gold Corp.

The acquisition would give Goldcorp, the world’s second-largest gold producer by market capitalization, access to Andean’s Cerro Negro gold project in Argentina, which is said to have a significant amount of gold and silver.

The Goldcorp-Andean deal has been approved by both companies’ boards but requires approval by a majority of Andean shareholders. The companies expect the deal to close later this year or in early 2011.

The announcement came shortly after Canada’s Eldorado made an offer of $3.2 billion for the company.