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Roundup: Esmark, USW labor pact; Ranbaxy halts Lipitor; Toyota offers 2,000 early retirement; more

| Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Esmark, USW agree to 4-year pact in Ohio

Steelmaker Esmark Inc., based in Sewickley, said on Friday that it reached a four-year, tentative labor agreement with United Steelworkers Local 1223 involving workers at the company's Ohio Cold Rolling Co. plant in Yorkville, Ohio. A ratification vote is expected next week, and Esmark anticipates restarting the plant early next year. The company acquired the Ohio plant out of bankruptcy in August.

Drug maker halts generic Lipitor

Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc. halted production of the generic cholesterol drug Lipitor while it investigates how tiny glass particles got into dozens of batches of the drug recalled in November. The Food and Drug Administration said Ranbaxy won't resume manufacturing generic Lipitor, or atorvastatin, until it determines the problem's cause and fixes it. Ranbaxy's lead in the generic Lipitor market may be at risk from the recalls. Mylan Inc. of Canonsburg and Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. could take market share from Ranbaxy, according to a Bloomberg Industries report.

Toyota offers early retirement

Toyota Motor Corp. said it's making early retirement offers to about 2,000 of its veteran U.S. employees, most of whom work at its plant in Georgetown, Ky. Toyota is trying to manage the retirement of the workers who will have at least 22 years with the automaker as of March 31, 2013. About 1,600 of those 2,000 employees work in Toyota's Georgetown factory, where about 6,600 workers make the Camry, Venza and Avalon, according to an Oct. 30 statement on the company's website.

Other business news

• Wesbanco Inc., which completed its acquisition of Fidelity Bancorp Inc. on Friday, appointed Michael Mooney to be president of Wheeling-based Wesbanco's Western Pennsylvania market. Mooney, a 35-year banking veteran, had been executive vice president and chief lending officer at Perrysville-based Fidelity.

• Earthtech Inc., which provides technical and laboratory services to the mining, energy development and other sectors, said on Friday that President and co-founder Dennis Noll will retire at the end of March. Noll, who co-founded the Johnstown-based company in 1980, will be succeeded by Hiram Ribblett, a 37-year engineer and partner at Earthtech, which he joined in 1997.

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