Business briefs: Oshkosh Corp. laying off 760 from defense division

April 11, 2014 

MILWAUKEE -- Military vehicle maker Oshkosh Corp., parent company to Pierce Manufacturing in Bradenton, is cutting about 760 jobs from its defense division this summer because of decreased spending by the Pentagon.

The Wisconsin-based company made the announcement Thursday. The job cuts represent nearly 30 percent of its defense division workforce.

Oshkosh Defense Vice President John Urias says the company needed to make staffing changes because government budgets are tightening and the U.S. is drawing down its military overseas.

About 700 hourly positions will be cut beginning in June, and another 60 salaried positions will be eliminated starting in July. Oshkosh Defense will be left with about 1,850 employees.

The overall company has about 12,000 employees worldwide.

Shares of Oshkosh Corp. fell $1.34, or 2.3 percent, to $57.74 in midday trading Thursday.

GM puts 2 engineers on paid leave in recall case

DETROIT -- General Motors has suspended two engineers with pay in the first disciplinary action linked to its delayed recall of more than 2 million small cars for a deadly ignition switch problem.

The move stems from GM's internal investigation of the matter. At congressional hearings last week, lawmakers alleged that at least one company engineer tried to cover up the switch problem. GM CEO Mary Barra promised action against anyone deemed to have acted inappropriately.

GM, in a statement Thursday, said the engineers were placed on leave after a briefing from former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas, whom GM has hired to figure out why it took more than a decade to recall the cars. GM says at least 13 people have been killed in crashes linked to the defective switch, but family members of those who died say the death toll is much higher.

$4 billion: Bogus tax refunds a growing problem

WASHINGTON -- An Internet connection and a bunch of stolen identities are all it takes for crooks to collect billions of dollars in bogus federal tax refunds. And the scam is proving too pervasive to stop.

A government report in November said the IRS issued $4 billion in fraudulent tax refunds over the previous year to criminals who were using other people's personal information. Attorney General Eric Holder said this week that the "scale, scope and execution of these fraud schemes" has grown substantially and the Justice Department in the past year has charged 880 people.

Wal-Mart and Wild Oats unveil cheaper organic line

NEW YORK -- Wal-Mart is using its massive size to drive down the price of organic food items from tomato paste to chicken

broth to make them more affordable for its low-income customers.

The world's largest retailer and nation's largest grocery seller said Thursday that it has teamed up with Wild Oats to sell a new line of organic foods, starting this month, that's at least 25 percent cheaper than the national organic brands it carries and in line with the prices of its branded non-organics. Wild Oats helped pioneer the organic trend in the late 1980s but has largely disappeared from store shelves since 2007.

-- Herald wire reports

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