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NLRB finds Salem pot dispensary fired union supporters

The National Labor Relations Board ruled Friday that the Salem cannabis dispensary I.N.S.A illegally fired union supporters and created a hostile environment for employees.Jim Mone/Associated Press

LABOR

NLRB finds Salem pot dispensary fired union supporters

The National Labor Relations Board ruled Friday that the Salem cannabis dispensary I.N.S.A illegally fired union supporters and created a hostile environment for employees. As a result, the dispensary must immediately recognize and bargain with the union, the NLRB said. Both terminated workers must also be rehired and provided back pay. The I.N.S.A case is the first to apply an NLRB standard implemented in August, which forces companies to recognize a union or file promptly for election when a majority of workers show support — a potential boost to organizing across the country. A statement from the United Food and Commercial Workers, who represent the I.N.S.A workers, said that the dispensary had surveilled employees and hosted mandatory anti-union meetings, infringing on workers to a degree that “a fair representation election could not be held.” President Fernando Lemus lauded the decision, too. “Workers at I.N.S.A. and anywhere there is labor organizing should celebrate this landmark decision,” he said. — DITI KOHLI

LABOR

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Vegas hospitality workers authorize a strike

Tens of thousands of Las Vegas hospitality workers fighting for new union contracts voted Tuesday to authorize a strike that could impact more than three dozen casinos and hotels, the city’s economic backbone. The Culinary Workers Union hasn’t gone on strike in more than three decades. The union didn’t immediately set a deadline for a walkout as it continues bargaining for better pay, benefits, and working conditions with the top casino employers on the Las Vegas Strip, including MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

ENERGY

Britain approves project in the North Sea

Britain on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for a major oil and gas project in the North Sea, ignoring warnings from scientists and the United Nations that countries must stop developing new fossil fuel resources if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change. The North Sea Transition Authority approved development of the Rosebank field, allowing owners Equinor and Ithaca Energy to move forward with the project about 80 miles northwest of the Shetland Islands. The decision comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government faces criticism for watering down its environmental commitments ahead of an election that is expected to take place next year. Sunak recently delayed a ban on gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles and proposed easing water quality rules for developers after expensive environmental programs proved unpopular with some voters. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Gereon Moreno holds a sign indicating that there is one day left to file taxes as he stands in front of a Liberty Tax Service office on April 17 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty

LEGAL

Fictional TV tax service didn’t infringe on real one, judge says

In the sixth and final season of “Better Call Saul,” Craig and Betsy Kettleman open Sweet Liberty Tax Services to help the good, freedom-loving people in their community wrest every penny they had overpaid to the IRS. The husband-and-wife team conveyed that promise by posting an inflatable Statue of Liberty outside their business, draping their trailer in a US flag, and plastering Lady Liberty and exploding fireworks on a mural inside their office. All the trappings of Sweet Liberty Tax Services, a fictional business in the hit TV show, hit a little too close to home for Liberty Tax Service, a real tax preparation business with more than 2,500 locations across the United States and Canada. In August 2022, Liberty sued AMC Networks, which airs “Better Call Saul,” alleging the TV network had defamed it while infringing on its trademark. On Monday, Judge Paul Gardephe in the US District Court for Southern New York dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that, while the “patriotic imagery” AMC used to depict the Kettlemans’ business closely resembled Liberty’s, such imagery had artistic relevance to the show, adding that the tax business hadn’t provided evidence that the show had confused viewers into mistaking the fictional business for its own. — WASHINGTON POST

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SOCIAL MEDIA

TikTok’s online shopping curtailed in Indonesia

TikTok suffered a major setback to its online shopping ambitions after Indonesia introduced regulations that will curb its operations in its biggest e-commerce market. Indonesia is prohibiting social commerce companies from facilitating direct e-commerce payments on their platforms, Ministry of Trade officials said on Wednesday. That means TikTok, the only social media company that sells goods directly on its app, will need to separate the shopping feature from its popular video-scrolling service. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

AIRLINES

Qatar Airways says forced exams of female passengers will not happen again

A senior Qatar Airways executive told an Australian Senate inquiry on Wednesday there would be no repeat of an incident at Doha’s international airport in 2020 in which female passengers were subjected to invasive gynecological examinations. Australian Transport Minister Catherine King said three weeks ago that the examinations of 13 Australian women who had boarded a Qatar Airways plane to Sydney were a factor in her decision in July to refuse the Qatar government-owned airline additional flights to Australia. Qatar Airways senior vice president Matt Raos described the incident, which occurred when authorities were looking for the mother of a newborn baby found abandoned in a Hamad International Airport trash can, as “a one-off incident, a very extreme incident.” — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Health care providers wrote more than 9 million prescriptions for Ozempic and similar drugs in the final three months of 2022, according to a new analysis of medications that have become highly sought-after for their weight-loss effects. DIRK WAEM/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

PHARMACEUTICALS

More than 9 million prescriptions for Ozempic

Health care providers wrote more than 9 million prescriptions for Ozempic and similar drugs in the final three months of 2022, according to a new analysis of medications that have become highly sought-after for their weight-loss effects. The report, released Wednesday by data-analytics firm Trilliant Health, shows that quarterly prescriptions quadrupled between early 2020 and the end of last year. And while Ozempic has regulatory approval to treat diabetes, the data indicate that many providers prescribed it off-label, meaning for a treatment other than its approved use. — WASHINGTON POST

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PHARMACIES

CVS pharmacists in Missouri resume walkouts

CVS is facing a resumption of walkouts this week by pharmacists in Kansas City, Mo., who are protesting working conditions in its drugstores and other locations. After the walkouts began Thursday, the chain dispatched chief pharmacy officer Prem Shah to meet Tuesday with the pharmacists. Shah agreed to issue a public apology to the employees for the work environment and a public apology to customers for the lack of service due to those conditions, according to one of the organizers of the walkout, who asked not to be named because the discussions were private. After the meeting, pharmacists postponed further walkouts and scheduled talks for next month to address long-term solutions to issues pharmacists raised, including hiring more support staff and alleviating workload, the organizer said. However, a spokesperson for CVS said late Tuesday that Shah had agreed to send a personal memo to pharmacy teams regarding the company’s delayed response to their concerns, rather than a public apology. That led to the decision to resume the walkouts, the organizer said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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SOCIAL MEDIA

Snap closes AR business services section

Snap is closing a division focused on making augmented reality services for businesses, pulling the plug on its latest attempt to diversify the ad-dependent company. The ARES unit, short for augmented reality for enterprise services, was just announced in March. The idea was to let retailers adapt Snap’s AR technology for their own websites. But the company ultimately realized that the cost and complexity of the endeavor was too great, according to a memo from chief executive Evan Spiegel that was reviewed by Bloomberg and confirmed by a Snap spokesperson. — BLOOMBERG NEWS