East Millinocket agreement would lower mill’s taxes

Selectmen in East Millinocket have voted on a company’s proposal to buy two shuttered paper mills in East Millinocket and Millinocket.

The board of selectmen Tuesday made some revisions to a proposal put forth by Cate Street Capital, of Portsmouth, N.H., to buy the two mills for an undisclosed price from Brookfield Asset Management. Chairman Mark Scally said selectmen and the company have agreed to a tax assessment that would lower the East Millinocket mill’s property taxes.

Millinocket town councilors were meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss the proposal. Union members will meet today to discuss a labor pact.

Cate Street officials want to complete the deal by Thursday.

The closures of the mills over the last three years have cost 600 jobs.

Unions, T-Mobile dispute cuts at Oakland call center

Unions say T-Mobile’s call center in the Maine town of Oakland has cut about 300 jobs in recent months, and is no longer employing enough workers to justify public subsidies.

The Communications Workers of America and the Maine AFL-CIO said they want T-Mobile to make good on its promise of jobs or to return taxpayer money to fund a job training program.

T-Mobile spokesman Hernan Daguerre told the Morning Sentinel that T-Mobile has never laid off employees at the Oakland call center, which now employs more than 520.

Daguerre said that from 2005 to 2010, T-Mobile USA received $3.5 million from the state as incentives for creating jobs. But he said T-Mobile made no commitment to creating a specific number of jobs in Maine.

Bath Iron Works eliminates 44 salaried engineering jobs

Bath Iron Works is cutting 44 salaried engineering positions as design work slows down on the next-generation Zumwalt destroyer.

Spokesman Jim DeMartini said the lead ship is now 50 percent complete, so much of the design work is finished for the destroyer. Bath plans to build three of the Zumwalts before construction shifts back to Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

DeMartini said the layoffs become effective Sept. 23. Workers were notified Friday. He said the job cuts are necessary “to meet our Navy customer’s changing requirements within their available funding.”

Air Canada flight attendants vote to support a walkout

Montreal-based Air Canada, the country’s largest airline, could face its second work stoppage this year after flight attendants overwhelmingly endorsed a strike that could begin as early as Sept. 21.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees said Tuesday that after a 10-day vote, employees voted 98 percent to back a strike.

Unless a last-minute deal is reached, 6,800 flight attendants could walk off the job next week.

Jeff Taylor, president of the local union that represents flight attendants, said the key areas of dispute are wages, pensions and crew rest, working conditions and work rules.

Designer madness stalls Target.com, fills stores

Target’s website crashed several times throughout the day and more than a hundred shoppers lined up at many of its stores early Tuesday for a sale of limited offerings of its Missoni for Target collection of bikes, luggage, clothes and housewares.

The 400-piece line made by the Italian luxury knitwear designer Missoni exclusively for the cheap chic retailer features its trademark zigzag patterns for between $2.99 for stationary and $599.99 for patio furniture. The designer’s real duds can go for $595 to $1,500.

Fashionistas hauled away the high-style goods as soon as store doors opened at 8 a.m., and orders crashed the company’s website for three hours Tuesday. Programmers got the website back up mid-morning, although with limited access.

Frustrated shoppers flocked to Twitter and Target Style’s Facebook page to complain about people grabbing the merchandise and reselling it on eBay. As of Tuesday night, there were more than 13,000 listings for Missoni for Target on eBay, many of which were selling for more than double the price found at Target.