Bill Catlin Feature Archive

As more companies hunt for cheaper labor in places like India and China, offshore outsourcing has become a flashpoint in the presidential campaign and in state legislatures. Outsourcing is spreading from the manufacturing sector into the service economy and affecting white-collar workers, many with higher wages and skill levels. While outsourcing often gets blamed for job losses, finding cheaper labor can also save or even create jobs. (03/24/2004)
Negotiators for Twin Cities bus drivers and the Metropolitan Council are expected to return to the negotiating table before a March 2 strike deadline. The Amalgamated Transit Union's nearly 2,200 drivers overwhelmingly rejected an offer last week. Benefits are a key issue in the dispute. (02/23/2004)
Golden Valley-based General Mills faces possible civil charges by securities regulators in connection with its sales practices. The company has been accused of improperly shipping excessive amounts of its products to supermarkets in order to show higher sales. A common business practice to boost sales is coming under greater scrutiny by regulators. (02/15/2004)
Golden Valley-based General Mills says it may face civil charges in an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company says it has received a "Wells notice" that also covers General Mills' CEO and chief financial officer. The company disclosed the SEC's investigation of its sales practices and related accounting last October. (02/04/2004)
A group of high-profile CEOs has joined together to address concerns about the Twin Cities' long-term economic health. The group called the Itasca Project holds its fourth meeting today, and includes the chief executives of 3M and Northwest Airlines and other Fortune 500 firms. (01/29/2004)
Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp is warning customers not to respond to bogus e-mails that are intended to trick people into giving out sensitive personal information. The e-mails appear to come from the bank and say the recipient's account has been blocked because it may have been compromised by outside parties. (01/20/2004)
Mesaba Airlines and its pilots union announced a contract settlement early Sunday after a marathon bargaining session approaching 40 hours in length. The deal means Mesaba will resume operating flights for Northwest Airlines to more than 100 cities after canceling all its flights Saturday. (01/11/2004)
Mesaba Airlines and its pilots union face a strike deadline Friday at 11:01 p.m. A walkout would ground about 600 daily flights Mesaba operates for Northwest Airlines. Negotiations continue over issues including wages, work rules, and job security. The dispute reflects the upheaval in the airline industry since 2001. (01/09/2004)
Mesaba Airlines and its pilots union begin an 11th-hour round of contract talks Monday. The Twin Cities-based regional airline and its 840 pilots face a strike deadline Friday night. (01/05/2004)
The Twin Cities has a long history in the mutual mund industry. But now some are concerned that the industry is losing scale, not because of the mutual fund scandals, but for a variety of other reasons. (12/22/2003)
Northwest Airlines and Mesaba Airlines have agreed to postpone a decision on whether Mesaba will keep its fleet of jet aircraft. The issue of the 30 regional jets complicates Mesaba's contract negotiations with its pilots union, as a strike deadline looms less than a month away. (12/12/2003)
Minnesota has lost nearly 52,000 high-paying factory jobs since 2000. The manufacturing sector was one of the bright spots in Minnesota's economy during the 1990s, but has hemorrhaged jobs since the recession. (12/07/2003)
Minnesota's economy added 8,500 jobs in October -- the biggest gain since February, 2000. The state's jobless rate held steady at 4.6 percent, as layoffs continue at a high rate, and as more people enter the workforce to begin a job search. Even so, state officials calls the job gains impressive. (11/18/2003)
University of Minnesota officials say they're surprised the U's largest union has gone on strike. Clerical workers represented by the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 3800 began a second day of picketing Wednesday. Labor relations experts say the strike reflects the financial squeeze that a tough economy and rising health costs are putting on workers and employers alike. (10/22/2003)
Executives from Minnesota's manufacturing industry gave Gov. Tim Pawlenty their wish list for state government during three separate roundtable discussions. The governor was looking for ideas on how to shore up an important part of Minnesota's economy. The high-paying sector has lost nearly 48,000 jobs since the start of the recession in 2001. (10/03/2003)