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Biscuit World workers in W.Va. say no to union

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Workers at a West Virginia franchise of a regional fast-food restaurant on Tuesday rejected efforts to form a union that would have been the first of its kind in the state. Immediately after the vote, union organizers announced that they had filed unfair labor practice charges against the company.

United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 alleges that Tudor’s Biscuit World fired employees of the Elkview franchise and used union-busting techniques to discourage others from voting in favor of a collective bargaining unit, said Local 400 Organizing Director Alan Hanson. Because of that, the vote should also be thrown out, Hanson said.

“We’re incredibly proud to stand with these extraordinarily brave workers, and this fight is far from over,” he said in an interview at union headquarters in Charleston. Several pro-union workers had gathered there Tuesday to watch a representative of the National Labor Relations Board count the ballots on a live Zoom call.

Microsoft profits up 21%, giving cushion for gaming push

Demand for Microsoft’s cloud-computing services and work software helped boost its quarterly profits by 21% as the pandemic continued to keep many office workers at least partly at home.

The Redmond, Wash. company on Tuesday reported fiscal second-quarter profit of $18.8 billion. It posted revenue of $51.7 billion for the October-December period, up 20% from a year earlier.

In a call with investors, CEO Satya Nadella said the company is transitioning from a period of pandemic-fueled demand to one in which digital technology can help overcome economic constraints to “drive productivity while keeping costs down.”

“The other area we are seeing strength is gaming,” Nadella said. “That’s where we have doubled down in terms of our consumer category.”