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TALKING POINTS

MIT graduate workers get first contract

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus in Cambridge.Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg

LABOR

MIT graduate workers get first contract

Around 5,000 graduate workers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reached a tenantive first union contract with the Cambridge school on Tuesday, fueling a wave of higher education organizing that exploded during the pandemic. The agreement — completed 17 months after workers organized — bolsters employees’ compensation by over 10 percent with expanded benefits and annual raises, and includes new recourse procedures for complaints of discrimination and harassment. Ruth Hanna, an organizer and fourth-year biology graduate student, said the deal came together one week after the workers threatened to strike, potentially leaving the university with far fewer employers to help teach classes, staff laboratories, and conduct research. “We are so excited for all the wins we were able to achieve through our collective strike threat,” Hanna added. “It will mean so much for so many grad workers at MIT. And what is exciting about this contract is that it sets us up to fight for even more in three years time.” — DITI KOHLI

WORKPLACE

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State Street mandates four days in the office

State Street Corp., the Boston-based financial services giant, has become the latest large employer to ask employees to spend additional time at the office. State Street’s North American employees now have a deadline to begin coming into the office at least four days a week: For managers, the new cadence will begin in October, and for all other employees, it will begin in November, a spokesperson confirmed in a statement Wednesday. It was unclear whether or not employees can choose the day they work remotely. Up until this point, remote work policies were based on individual roles, the spokesperson said. In addition, State Street announced that it will begin offering employees the ability to work remotely a total of four weeks out of the year, the spokesperson said. Workers can redeem these in increments of one or two weeks at a time. — DANA GERBER

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LABOR

Janitors begin contract negotiations

Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union said it kicked off contract negotiations on Thursday on behalf of some 12,000 janitors across Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The union is negotiating with reps for the Maintenance Contractors of New England, a group that represents dozens of cleaning contractors, including some that clean office towers in downtown Boston. This would be the janitors’ first new contract since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The contract talks are starting two months before the current contract expires on Nov. 15, and are among a series of negotiations across the country covering more than 134,000 SEIU-represented cleaners. — JON CHESTO

More than 70 percent of Americas said they’re going out to eat less often, according to a new poll from Suffolk University and USA Today.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

ECONOMY

A huge percentage of Americans says things are getting worse

Nearly 70 percent of Americans say the economy is getting worse, not better, according to a new poll from Suffolk University and USA Today. The nationwide phone poll of 1,000 adults showed that 84 percent are concerned about the rising cost of living, with many citing food prices and housing costs. More than 70 percent said they’re going out to eat less often, and a similar number said they are paring back spending on clothing purchases, while 58 percent said they’re cutting back on vacations. Nearly 60 percent said they disapproved of President Biden’s handling of the economy, and more than 40 percent said they will cut back on holiday spending. Unsurprisingly, households with incomes under $50,000 a year are feeling the brunt of rising costs the most, while households clearing $100,000 or more are generally only cutting back in two categories, restaurants and retail. — JON CHESTO

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INTERNATIONAL

Microsoft’s bid to avoid EU crackdown fails

Microsoft’s attempt at avoiding deeper European Union scrutiny of its Teams video-conferencing app fell flat with the bloc’s antitrust enforcers readying a formal complaint against the firm’s conduct. Microsoft’s recent proposal to split its Teams from a broader business software package and sell it to customers separately with an annual discount, was not enough to satisfy regulators’ concerns, people familiar with the matter said. The people, who asked not to be identified as the matter is private, said that the commission was preparing a statement of objections to send to the company, which could come in the next few months. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

ENERGY

OPEC official isn’t happy about a world without oil

OPEC’s top official warned against abandoning fossil fuels, hitting back once again at remarks from the world’s energy watchdog. Cutting out hydrocarbons “would lead to energy chaos on a potentially unprecedented scale, with dire consequences for economies and billions of people across the world,” secretary general Haitham Al-Ghais said Thursday in a statement. On Wednesday, the International Energy Agency said oil demand may plateau this decade as consumers shift more to renewables to avert catastrophic climate change. “We may be witnessing the beginning of the end of the fossil-fuel era,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

INTERNATIONAL

China protests EU probe of EV exports

China’s Commerce Ministry has protested a decision by the European Union to investigate exports of Chinese electric vehicles, saying Thursday that it is a “protectionist” act aimed at distorting the supply chain. The EU announced Wednesday it will probe government subsidies provided to Chinese automakers that the EU contends keep EV prices artificially low. China has become the biggest market for electric vehicles after investing billions in subsidies to gain an edge. Automakers like BYD and Geely have quickly gained market share after launching sales of EVs to Japan and Europe. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Subway launched a three-inch sandwich in inflation-battered Pakistan, the first time the fast-food chain has launched a mini version globally.Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

FAST FOOD

Subway offers a 3-inch sandwich to those pinching pennies in Pakistan

Subway launched a three-inch sandwich in inflation-battered Pakistan, the first time the fast-food chain has launched a mini version globally. The bite-size sandwich, which appeared on Pakistani menus and social media posts with little fanfare last month, provides “value” to Pakistani customers, a spokesperson for Subway told Bloomberg News on Wednesday. The US-based chain’s main offerings are six-inch and 12-inch sandwiches. Pakistan is struggling with Asia’s fastest inflation, which has seen double-digit percentage increases fuel a cost-of-living crisis in the country of almost 250 million people. To deal with spiraling prices, many restaurants have increased prices or reduced quantities. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

ADVERTISING

Johnson & Johnson is signing off on a new logo. The health care giant said Thursday that it will replace the well-known signature script it has used since 1887 with a modern look that reflects its sharpened focus on pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The original script — based on co-founder James Wood Johnson’s signature — will still be seen for now on consumer products like baby shampoo from Kenvue, a new company recently spun off from J&J. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

AIRLINES

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JetBlue says growth hampered by delays in getting new planes, parts

JetBlue says the biggest hindrance to the carrier’s growth are continued delays in aircraft deliveries and planes that it’s forced to park waiting for engines or repairs. The airline has said it will get just 19 new Airbus aircraft this year, instead of the 30 it originally expected. And July’s discovery of problems with some Pratt & Whitney parts affects some JetBlue engines that will have to be taken off planes by the middle of this month. — BLOOMBERG NEWS