Tribune News Service
Business Budget for Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Updated at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 UTC)
Adds WRK-AMAZON-WAREHOUSE:SE, AUTO-TESLA-SUBSIDY:LA, TV-ATT-TIMEWARNER:LA, CNS-CONFIDENTIAL:LA, TRADE-JOBS:BLO, CHECK-FRAUD:MI, AUTO-FORD-GENEVA:DE
This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.
^Ten years after its merger with Northwest, Delta is flying high<
^AIRLINES-NORTHWEST-DELTA:MS—<It has been 10 years since Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines merged — and the sky didn’t fall.
When Delta announced plans to purchase Northwest in April 2008, Northwest employees, officials at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and many area residents worried Delta would gut its presence in the Twin Cities. Jobs would evaporate, along with the convenience of going elsewhere. And eventually, the stability of the local economy would diminish.
A decade later, the worst-case scenarios didn’t happen. Instead, the airline, airport and region are flourishing.
1250 by Kristen Leigh Painter. MOVED
^Lawsuit: Shoplifters accuse Walmart, Bloomingdale’s of extortion<
SHOPLIFTERS:SJ — Call it revenge of the shoplifters: Some of the country’s biggest retailers, from Walmart to Bloomingdale’s to Abercrombie & Fitch, are being accused of extorting shoppers caught swiping merchandise.
The bizarre twist is spelled out in a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in San Jose that begins when a mother shopping for a birthday barbecue with her kids was stopped while leaving the self-checkout at Walmart. The retailer’s loss-prevention officers took her aside and accused her of not paying for hot dog buns and a water bottle.
They gave her a choice: Cop to shoplifting and agree to pay $500 for an online class aimed at setting her on the straight and narrow — or else they’d call the police.
900 by John Woolfolk in San Jose. MOVED
^Under pressure, afraid to take bathroom breaks? Inside Amazon’s fast-paced warehouse world<
^WRK-AMAZON-WAREHOUSE:SE—<Working at an Amazon warehouse in the U.K., James Bloodworth came across a bottle of straw-colored liquid on a shelf. It looked like pee.
How could he be sure? “I smelt it,” said the 35-year-old British journalist and author, talking about his new book “Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain.” It was definitely pee, he said.
As he tells it, urinating into a bottle is the kind of desperation Amazon forces its warehouse workers into as they try to avoid accusations of “idling” and failing to meet impossibly high productivity targets — ones they are continually measured against by Big Brother-ish type surveillance.
1850 by Nina Shapiro. MOVED
^OTHER BUSINESS NEWS<
^As Tesla tax credits disappear, will Model 3 deposit-holders stick around?<
AUTO-TESLA-SUBSIDY:LA — Dennis Dorfman was hoping to replace his Toyota Prius with something sexier.
When Tesla began taking reservations for the new Model 3 electric sedan in March 2016, Dorfman got in line at a Tesla retail store near his Calabasas home. He waited hours to lay down a $1,000 refundable deposit.
That was two years and three months ago. He’s still waiting for his car. And now he’s worried that he might not get a $7,500 federal tax credit that was key to his purchase decision.
“I’m frustrated,” Dorfman said. “A lot of people like me are frustrated.”
850 by Russ Mitchell in San Francisco. MOVED
^How AT&T could use Time Warner shows and movies to compete with Disney and Netflix<
^TV-ATT-TIMEWARNER:LA—<Imagine if, ahead of HBO’s next “Westworld” premiere, AT&T sent a 5-minute video recap to millions of users it knows watch science fiction.
The mobile giant could target young women with the latest trailer of Warner Bros.’s upcoming romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians.” Or analyze users’ interests to create customized CNN news clips for customers to watch on their lunch breaks.
That’s just a sample of the ways AT&T could push the $85-billion Time Warner Inc. acquisition to its more than 100 million wireless subscribers and 25 million pay-TV customers.
1250 by Ryan Faughnder. (Moved as an entertainment story.) MOVED
^Dry-cleaning startup Pressbox acquired by Procter & Gamble<
PRESSBOX-PROCTER:TB — The dry-cleaning startup Pressbox is being acquired by consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, the companies announced Tuesday.
Pressbox, launched in Chicago in 2013 by University of Notre Dame graduates Vijen Patel and Drew McKenna, allows customers to drop off their dirty laundry at any time in one of the company’s lockers, mainly located in high-rise apartment buildings and offices. Customers can use the Pressbox app to track their laundry as it’s taken for cleaning and are notified when it is ready for pickup.
Pressbox has about 250 locker locations in the Chicago area and another 250 in Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; and Nashville, Tenn. The company plans to launch in Dallas later this month.
550 by Hailey Mensik in Chicago. MOVED
^Trade war hangs over U.S. job market set for more gains in June<
TRADE-JOBS:BLO — President Donald Trump’s global trade war is posing a growing risk to the kind of robust job gains that the U.S. probably enjoyed again in June.
Data due Friday from the Labor Department cover the first weeks since the U.S. imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on some of its largest trading partners, with financial markets whipsawing on the latest trade developments and likely becoming more sensitive to disappointing economic figures. What’s more, companies including motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. and auto manufacturer General Motors Co. have warned of potential U.S. job losses due to Trump’s trade policies or retaliatory levies.
850 by Katia Dmitrieva and Reade Pickert in Washington. MOVED
^Feds expose shadowy, $500 million check-cashing chain in Florida and its real owner<
CHECK-FRAUD:MI — Evelio Suarez learned the ropes of shadow banking during the last decade’s real estate boom while working for La Bamba, a chain of check-cashing stores that was once a sponsor of the Miami Heat.
But rather than quit the business after his boss and other employees at La Bamba were sent to prison, Suarez launched his own chain in Hialeah, Fla., catering to people who couldn’t cash checks at conventional banks.
Now, Suarez, 53, could be facing a long prison sentence himself.
Suarez ran a trio of stores that cashed at least $500 million in fraudulent checks in 2013-14, federal prosecutors say. Arrested in late June, he is fighting charges of conspiring to commit money laundering, bribing a bank employee and tampering with a grand jury witness.
950 by Jay Weaver in Miami. MOVED
^Ford skips Geneva, showing auto show crisis, why Detroit must change<
^AUTO-FORD-GENEVA:DE—<As the Detroit auto show prepares to announce a rescheduled, reimagined show for 2020, the crisis facing the world’s auto shows came into sharper focus as Ford announced it will join Volvo in skipping the prestigious Geneva auto show in Switzerland next March.
2019 will mark the first time Ford skips Geneva in decades.
The Detroit Auto Dealers Association on July 24 will reveal plans for a new auto show that includes outdoor events and vehicle and tech demos. The show will move from its traditional slot in January to June or October 2020 so it can offer what DADA calls “opportunities for more engagement,” possibly including an off-road simulator for SUVs, a test track on Cobo Center’s roof and self-driving vehicles.
600 by Mark Phelan. MOVED
^WORKPLACE & CAREER STORIES<
^From city halls to corporate offices, more Minnesotans skip out of work early for ‘Summer Fridays'<
^WRK-SUMMER-FRIDAYS:MS—<From Memorial Day to Labor Day a growing number of businesses, organizations and cities across Minnesota are shortening Friday workdays or closing up altogether so employees can high-tail it to the beach, a lake or cabin.
It’s not just something those hip creative and IT agencies that host happy hours and Nerf gun battles can do. Small nonprofits to mega Minnesota-based corporations such as General Mills, Hormel, Medtronic and Land O’Lakes offer the perk, too, saying it boosts employee morale and productivity and serves as a recruiting tool.
Nearly half of U.S. companies surveyed are offering some type of “summer Fridays” fringe benefit this year — up from 21 percent three years ago, according to researchers at Gartner. Perhaps nowhere is it appreciated more than in Minnesota, where long, harsh winters put a premium on time in the summer sun.
1000 by Kelly Smith. MOVED
^Some employers wage bidding wars for scarce workers<
^WRK-CALIF-JOBS:LA—<Karen Quintana is keenly aware of how hard it is for companies to find workers who can handle the government red tape and other complexities of shipping containers of electronics, toys and machine parts in and out of the nation’s largest port complex in San Pedro Bay.
Once companies do find a qualified applicant, said Quintana, president of L.A’.s Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association, it’s not uncommon for them to already have four other offers.
At that point, Quintana said, “there is a bidding war.”
1100 by Andrew Khouri. MOVED
^DAILY MARKETS GRAPHIC <
Find here a daily Wall Street roundup graphic featuring Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq data.
The 1-column x 4-inch graphic, Wall Street, will be posted by 6:30 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday.
Those with questions regarding the graphic should contact the graphics team at 312-222-4131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
^Consumer Confidential: Bezos bets $1 billion on the future of healthcare as Trump tells the same old lies<
^CNS-CONFIDENTIAL:LA—<Two men stood out when it came to healthcare last week. One put a billion dollars on the line as part of a bold vision for the future of treatment and medicine.
The other told the same old lies.
The former was Jeff Bezos, whose Amazon shelled out big bucks for the online pharmacy PillPack. This ended the guessing game about Amazon’s healthcare ambitions and sent a clear message to the medical marketplace that the company is a player.
The latter standout, needless to say, was President Trump, who decided long ago that making stuff up is easier and more self-serving than sticking to facts.
1050 by David Lazarus. MOVED
These features regularly move on Tuesday:
^Liz Reyer: How to handle a skilled worker who’s also a bully<
^WRK-REYER-QA:MS—<I’ve been actively managing a bully on my team. I’ve documented her behavior, met with her and HR, had candid talks with her, and set action plans. She’s giving lip service to changing her behavior, but her actions don’t always match. She is a highly skilled analyst so I would hate to lose her. How much leash should I give her and how do I determine whether she is trying hard enough?
600 by Liz Reyer. MOVED
^Your Office Coach: When sexual harassment becomes office gossip<
^WRK-COACH:MCT—<After being sexually harassed by one of our top managers for several months, I finally told my boss what was going on. He insisted that we talk with human resources, even though I was somewhat reluctant to do so.
The HR manager listened to my story and assured me that I would have confidentiality and protection. However, the whole office now seems to know about my complaint, so I don’t believe she was honest with me. Shouldn’t this have been handled differently?
550 by Marie G. McIntyre. MOVED
WRK-HELPWANTED:ND — Q&A on resolving workplace problems.
By Carrie Mason-Draffen.
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