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TALKING POINTS

Companies embrace salary transparency

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WORKPLACE

Companies embrace salary transparency

Ready or not, what your job pays is about to get a lot less private. California, with its roughly 19 million workers and some of the biggest US companies, Tuesday became the latest state to join a quickly growing nationwide salary transparency movement. Just a year ago, only Colorado required employers to list salary ranges on job postings. Next month, a similar rule in New York City will go into effect followed by another in Washington state early next year. With California joining, companies like Alphabet, Meta Platforms Inc., Walt Disney, and Wells Fargo will have to comply by January 2023. New York state Governor Kathy Hochul also has a bill on her desk and a few other states mandate companies share pay expectations for open roles on demand. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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LABOR

Royal Mail workers extend strikes into pre-holiday period

Royal Mail shares tumbled after its main union unveiled plans to extend strikes involving 115,000 workers to disrupt online retail deliveries in the run up to Christmas. The 19 days of walkouts, a mixture of single strikes and rolling action, will cover peak mail periods in October and November, including the traditional discount shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Communication Workers Union said in a statement late Tuesday. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

TECHNOLOGY

Apple reverses plan to increase production of new iPhones

Apple is backing off plans to increase production of its new iPhones this year after an anticipated surge in demand failed to materialize, according to people familiar with the matter. The Cupertino, Calif.-based electronics maker has told suppliers to pull back from efforts to increase assembly of the iPhone 14 product family by as many as 6 million units in the second half of this year, said the people, asking not to be named as the plans are not public. Instead, the company will aim to produce 90 million handsets for the period, roughly the same level as the prior year and in line with Apple’s original forecast this summer, the people said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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Daniel Lee, then the creative director of Bottega Veneta, in Milan, Feb. 1, 2020. Burberry has named Daniel Lee as its new chief creative officer. ALESSANDRO GRASSANI/NYT

LUXURY

Burberry chooses a new chief designer

Burberry appointed former Bottega Veneta creative head Daniel Lee to succeed chief designer Riccardo Tisci, who is leaving the British fashion brand after five years. Tisci’s departure completes a changing of the guard atop the luxury retailer and comes less than a week after chief financial officer Julie Brown announced she was leaving to join drug maker GSK in a similar role. Lee will join as chief creative officer at the start of October, the company said Wednesday. He will present his debut runway collection at London Fashion Week in February and report to Versace veteran Jonathan Akeroyd, who became Burberry’s chief executive in March. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

SOCIAL MEDIA

Meta and Pinterest questioned over suicide of British teenager

Senior Meta Platforms and Pinterest executives were quizzed over the malign influence of social media algorithms on young people at an inquest into the death of a British teenager. A two-week London inquest is examining factors that caused the death of 14-year-old Molly Russell who died by suicide in 2017. The coroner will decide whether her prolific social media use played a part. Russell, who was suffering from poor mental health, engaged with tens of thousands of social media posts in the six months before she died that included “dark” content depicting self harm and suicide. She was an active user of Pinterest and Meta’s Instagram. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Musk says his free speech is being violated by federal regulators

US Securities regulators are unlawfully muzzling Tesla CEO Elon Musk, violating his free speech rights by continually trying to enforce a 2018 securities fraud settlement, Musk’s lawyer contends in a court brief. The document, filed late Tuesday with the federal appeals court in Manhattan, was written to support Musk’s appeal of a lower court’s April decision to uphold the settlement with Securities and Exchange Commission. The brief says that a provision in the settlement requiring Musk to get prior approval before tweeting about the electric car company is an illegal “government-imposed muzzle on Mr. Musk’s speech before it is made.” The settlement required that his tweets be approved by a Tesla attorney before being published. The SEC is investigating whether Musk violated the settlement with tweets last November asking Twitter followers if he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla stock. But in the brief, Musk attorney Alex Spiro contends that the SEC is continually investigating Musk for topics not covered by the settlement. It asks the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to strike or modify the prior approval provision. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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The Ford Motor Co. logo on the back of a vehicle at a dealership in Colma, California, U.S., on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

AUTOMOTIVE

Ford unveils new gas-powered pickup to finance conversion to EVs

Ford’s redesigned F-Series Super Duty pickup may lack the sex appeal of the Mustang introduced earlier this month, but this hulking warhorse is critical to funding the automaker’s electric future. The new Super Duty introduced Tuesday is the antithesis of an electric vehicle. According to Ford, it received a thorough overhaul that includes a new 6.8-liter V8 gasoline engine and a new 6.7-liter diesel engine to go along with a massive 7.3-liter gas engine the media have dubbed Godzilla. In its largest configuration, the truck stands over 6½ feet tall and stretches more than 22 feet. According to the automaker, the Super Duty generates more in annual revenue than Southwest Airlines, which last year booked $15.8 billion in sales. It dominates commercial sales to construction crews, utilities, mining companies, and emergency-response teams, and has twice the market share of rivals, Ford said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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MORTGAGES

Average rate is more than 6.5 percent

US home loan costs continue to soar as the average contract rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage pushed north of 6.5 percent last week for the first time since 2008, risking a more pronounced downturn in the housing market. The 30-year rate has climbed by about half a percentage point in just the last two weeks and more than a full point in the last six, highlighting the speed at which borrowing costs have increased as the Federal Reserve intensifies its inflation fight. Meanwhile, US pending home sales fell in August for the seventh time this year, extending the housing market’s downturn as high borrowing costs sideline prospective buyers. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

TRADE

Deficit narrowed last month

The US merchandise-trade deficit narrowed in August to the smallest since October 2021 as both imports and exports dropped, suggesting a tailwind for economic growth in the third quarter. The shortfall shrank 3.2 percent to $87.3 billion last month, Commerce Department data showed Wednesday. Exports declined 0.9 percent to $179.8 billion, the first drop since January. Imports retreated for the fifth straight month to $267.1 billion. The dollar strengthened for a third straight month in August, lowering the cost of imports and making exports more expensive. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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