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News in brief

April 7, 2021 at 2:45 a.m.

GM reports rebound

in sales from China

DETROIT -- General Motors Co. and its joint venture in China sold more than 780,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2021, a 69% increase over the same quarter a year ago, when the country was shut down during the pandemic.

The automaker said its rebound has been driven by luxury and premium vehicles; midsize/large SUVs; and multipurpose vehicles, including the Cadillac CT5 and XT6, Buick GL8 family and Buick LaCrosse. The Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV remained the best-selling electric vehicle in China, the automaker said.

Buick deliveries in the first quarter increased 73% from a year earlier. GM said Cadillac set a first-quarter record with its sales of more than 57,000 units, a 114% year-over-year increase. Chevrolet had a 27% increase in the quarter.

GM China's Wuling brand had sales double to more than 347,000. The Baojun brand saw a 5% increase.

In the U.S., GM said it sold 642,250 vehicles in the first quarter, a 4% year-over-year improvement.

-- The Detroit News (TNS)

Union touts its gains

in deal with casino

NEW ORLEANS -- A hospitality workers union said it has won important gains in recently completed contract negotiations with Harrah's New Orleans Casino & Hotel.

Leah Baily of the union "Unite Here" told The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate that one important development is an extension of "recall rights" -- requirements that previous employees be rehired first as economic conditions improve -- for anyone furloughed or laid off in the past year.

Unite Here said the recall-rights period for its unionized employees at Harrah's was extended from 12 months to 24 months.

The union said it also received new safety protocols regarding covid-19, as well as more health insurance options. The union told the newspaper that the new agreement calls for 10 days of paid leave for those forced to quarantine because of possible coronavirus exposure. And workers are getting the option of joining the Unite Here health insurance plan, which it said is less expensive than the one offered by Harrah's.

The company declined to comment for the newspaper's article on negotiations.

-- The Associated Press

State index closes

with a loss of 4.23

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Tuesday at 604.13, down 4.23.

"U.S. stocks closed slightly lower on Tuesday, hovering close to record highs posted over the past few sessions, as investors weigh additional strong economic data and look forward to quarterly earnings reports," said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

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