Top Headlines: How Birmingham kept Shipt, Lawsuit against chicken producers

It took a village to keep Shipt in Birmingham after acquisition
When Birmingham-based Shipt was acquired for $550 million by retailer Target in late 2017, there was a real chance that the homegrown company would end up leaving the city and taking hundreds of tech jobs with it. After all, Target was looking to utilize Shipt’s technology as its home-delivery platform nationwide. Aiming to prevent that, the Alabama Department of Commerce, the Birmingham Business Alliance and other organizations formed a team that recognized the importance of assisting an innovative, hometown company. – Made In Alabama

Federal lawsuit claims chicken producers fix wages, benefits
Companies producing most of America’s chicken products have met for almost a decade in Destin, Fla. to keep wages and benefits for their workforces at low levels, according to a lawsuit filed last week in Maryland. The suit was filed on behalf of three former workers from Arkansas, but seeks class-action status for hundreds of thousands more. Most of the chicken processing industry cited in the lawsuit is clustered in the South. –

At least one prison-building contractor seems a little shady
One of the companies vying for millions in taxpayer dollars to build Alabama’s new prisons is owned by the ousted former CEO of one of the other four companies in the running.  That man, Tennessee businessman Doctor Robert Crants Jr., was also involved in a recent lawsuit connected to a privately owned and operated prison in Alabama, which resulted in Crants agreeing to pay back $2 million the company says he took without the company’s knowledge or approval. – AL Political Reporter

ADEM says company will pay “significant’ price for poisoning river
“What I’m seeing is no life. It’s just killed it. It’s a shame,” said fisherman James Bramlett. James Bramlett has fished on the Black Warrior River since he was a child. Mulberry Fork is the part of the river where he fished for bait. In an exclusive interview, ADEM Director Lance LeFleur says a consent decree , a settlement with Tyson, is in the works. “The people there lost the enjoyment of that resource. Tyson will have a significant monetary consequence of that,” LeFleur said. – ABC

James Maritime Holdings acquires Sweet Hemp Alabama
James Maritime Holdings has signed a binding agreement to acquire 100 percent of the stock of Sweet Hemp Alabama Inc. of Autaugaville, Alabama, and a co-branding, distribution & marketing and licensing agreement with Ellis Jaxon Farms. Sweet Hemp Alabama is a fully integrated hemp company that is a grower, processor and supplier of Industrial Hemp grown and produced in Alabama. – News release

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Work proceeding on next chapter of Airbus Alabama
On the campus of Airbus’ Alabama manufacturing facility, construction crews are working to complete a project that represents the next chapter of the aerospace company’s U.S. growth plans. The work on Airbus’ Mobile campus is strategically significant because it will allow the company to produce a second aircraft type in Alabama — the single-aisle A220 passenger jet. – Made In Alabama

Big profits, unallocated plants make GM a target for UAW
General Motors Co.’s $27.5 billion in profit over the past four years and plans to cut underutilized U.S. plant capacity make it a prime target for the United Auto Workers, increasing the likelihood of a confrontation later this month. Analysts say those profits and the idling of four plants in the United States — including two in Michigan — are what led the United Auto Workers to target GM as the first of the Detroit Three to start negotiations for a new four-year contract. – Detroit News

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