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Sherman A1

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Gender: Male
Current location: U.S.
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
Number of posts: 31,958

Journal Archives

May 17, 1954: Brown v. Board of Ed is decided

in a major civil rights victory, the U.S. Supreme Court hands down an unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, ruling that racial segregation in public educational facilities is unconstitutional. The historic decision, which brought an end to federal tolerance of racial segregation, specifically dealt with Linda Brown, a young African American girl who had been denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas, because of the color of her skin.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history

Thank a Union: 36 Ways Unions Have Improved Your Life

36 Reasons Why You Should Thank a Union
Weekends
All Breaks at Work, including your Lunch Breaks
Paid Vacation
FMLA
Sick Leave
Social Security
Minimum Wage
Civil Rights Act/Title VII (Prohibits Employer Discrimination)
8-Hour Work Day
Overtime Pay
Child Labor Laws
Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
40 Hour Work Week
Worker's Compensation (Worker's Comp)
Unemployment Insurance
Pensions
Workplace Safety Standards and Regulations
Employer Health Care Insurance
Collective Bargaining Rights for Employees
Wrongful Termination Laws
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Whistleblower Protection Laws
Employee Polygraph Protect Act (Prohibits Employer from using a lie detector test on an employee)
Veteran's Employment and Training Services (VETS)
Compensation increases and Evaluations (Raises)
Sexual Harassment Laws
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
Holiday Pay
Employer Dental, Life, and Vision Insurance
Privacy Rights
Pregnancy and Parental Leave
Military Leave
The Right to Strike
Public Education for Children
Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 (Requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work)
Laws Ending Sweatshops in the United States

Full article at link..

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/05/15/1092027/-Thanks-a-Union-36-Ways-Unions-Have-Improved-Your-Life

Nuns on the Frontier

THE recent Vatican edict that reproached American nuns for their liberal views on social and political issues has put a spotlight on the practices of these Roman Catholic sisters. While the current debate has focused on the nuns’ progressive stances on birth control, abortion, homosexuality, the all-male priesthood and economic injustice, tension between American nuns and the church’s male hierarchy reaches much further back.

In the 19th century, Catholic nuns literally built the church in the American West, braving hardship and grueling circumstances to establish missions, set up classrooms and lead lives of calm in a chaotic world marked by corruption, criminality and illness. Their determination in the face of a male hierarchy that, then as now, frequently exploited and disdained them was a demonstration of their resilient faith in a church struggling to adapt itself to change.

Like other settlers in the West, Catholic nuns were mostly migrants from Europe or the American East; the church had turned to them to create a Catholic presence across a seemingly limitless frontier. The region’s rocky mining camps, grassy plains and arid deserts did not appeal to many ordained men. As one disenchanted European priest, lamenting the lack of a good cook and the discomfort of frontier travel, grumbled, “I hate the long, dreary winters of Iowa.”

More.....


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/opinion/nuns-on-the-frontier.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120516

Hostess fails in bid to throw out contracts - 05/16/2012

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain has denied Hostess Brand’s motion to reject all Teamsters labor contracts at the company. The Teamsters have said all along that they want to help save Hostess, but would vigorously oppose the company throwing out the contracts and imposing working conditions on Teamster workers. Teamsters Secretary Treasurer Ken Hall says it’s a rare day when a bankruptcy judge denies a company request to destroy union contracts. Hall attributes that to the resolve of Teamster members. The Teamsters say they remain committed to finding solutions to labor agreements that will help Hostess survive bankruptcy.

http://www.laborradio.org/Channels/Story.aspx?ID=1704442



Moody’s Notes Impact of Pension Obligations

NEW YORK — Estimated multi-employer pension-plan funding shortfalls will weaken the financial leverage metrics of U.S. supermarkets, but most companies’ debt ratings will not be affected, Moody’s said Tuesday.

"Supermarkets will need to redirect an increasingly large share of cash flow toward funding their multi-employer pension plans, although we do not expect any sudden or near-term increase in pension-funding contributions," said Mickey Chadha, vice president and senior analyst, Moody’s.

Moody’s pointed to Safeway as having the least amount of cushion in its ratings as its credit metrics deteriorated following debt-financed share repurchases. Kroger Co., Supervalu and Stater Bros. Holdings will see “modest increases in leverage” from Moody's upward revision to pension shortfalls. Moody's updated in April its underfunding multiples for rated U.S. companies that it identified as participating in multi-employer pension plans.

http://supermarketnews.com/retail-amp-financial/moody-s-notes-impact-pension-obligations

Judge Strikes Union Election Rule on Technicality

WASHINGTON — A U.S. District Court judge said Monday that controversial new rules to speed up union elections could not be enacted because the National Labor Relations Board lacked a quorum when the rules were approved late last year.

The opinion drew applause from business groups including the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which in a statement Tuesday said the judge’s decision would protect due process and fairness in union elections.

Judge James Boasberg of the U.S District Court did not address the merit of the rules, which went into effect April 30, but said it was invalid because only two members of the NLRB cast votes on the matter when three were required. The NLRB at the time consisted of three members but one member, Republican Brian Hayes, did not vote.

http://supermarketnews.com/laws-amp-regulations/judge-strikes-union-election-rule-technicality

ShopRites Achieve Energy Star Rating

WESTVILLE, N.J. — Brown’s Super Stores, a family-owned business that operates 10 ShopRite stores in the Philadelphia area, announced that it recently achieved the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Rating in five of its stores, as well as its corporate office as part of a comprehensive sustainability effort.

With an Energy Star Rating, Brown’s stores uses about 35% less energy than an average store, and cost 50 cents less per square foot to operate, while still providing quality service and comfort to customers.

In its effort to reduce consumption, Brown’s has fully converted three of its 10 stores to 100% LED or induction lighting, which includes all refrigerated cases and overhead store lighting. Plans are in place to make lighting upgrades in five additional stores over the next year. These lighting upgrades will reduce electric consumption at Brown's by more than 20% in 2012.

I thought this part particularly interesting......

Solar energy is also being utilized by Brown’s at their ShopRite of Parkside. The electricity generated by the 1,386 solar panels installed on the roof of the store accounts for more than 473,000 kilowatts annually — 12% of the stores energy needs.


http://supermarketnews.com/technology/shoprites-achieve-energy-star-rating

Independent Opens in La. Food Desert

This is good to see


WINNSBORO, La. — Ford's Fine Foods, an independent based in Colfax, La., has opened its fourth store in a food desert here — an area impacted by Hurricane Katrina — with help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Agency.

The company obtained a $5 million loan to refinance debt on existing facilities owned by parent company Ford Holdings to build the new store and to purchase inventory and equipment. The 19,500-square-foot store opened late last month.

Ford operates three other retail locations — in Colfax, Jonesville and Wisner, La. According to the USDA, owner Quinon Ford decided to build the new store on the south side of Winnsboro — which is designated as a consistent poverty area with a high unemployment rate — because he felt the community was not being properly served by stores located on the city's north side. The new store will be accessible to outlying rural communities and small towns, the USDA noted.

http://supermarketnews.com/retail-amp-financial/independent-opens-la-food-desert


Congresswoman Virginia Foxx NC-5 April Health Care Poll Results

Just received an email from the Charming Representative Virginia Foxx with results from her poll on The President's Health Care Law (as she calls it).

Thought it worth passing along as I have never seen her release results from her email polls.


April 2012 President's Health Care Law Survey Results:
Do you support the President's Health Care Law?
Yes. 72%
No. 28%

Impact of Target PFresh Seen as Minimal

The PFresh food sections offered by Target Corp. in two-thirds of its discount stores are having only a minimal impact on traditional supermarkets, industry observers told SN — and they question whether that will change much going forward.

The PFresh assortment of dry groceries, frozen and refrigerated foods and pre-packaged meats, produce and baked goods covers about 17,000 square feet at 875 Target stores, accounting for sales last year of approximately $13.3 billion — about 19% of Target’s total volume.

The company said last week it will add PFresh sections to 90 more discount stores by late June.

“The way Target has set up PFresh allows it to talk about a grocery offering without really competing in fresh,” Neil Stern (left), managing partner with McMillan Doolittle, Chicago, said. “It’s more of a strategic move to give the appearance of being in the food business without actually committing the space and resources to doing it, which is a very deliberate and very clever strategy.”

It’s hard to measure what impact PFresh is having on traditional supermarkets, Stern said, “because we don’t see Target showing up in any substantial way in market-share numbers.” (See the table with up-to-date market shares from Metro Market Studies.)

http://supermarketnews.com/retail-amp-financial/impact-target-pfresh-seen-minimal

From what I noted at my local recently remodeled Target store, these folks just don't get it. The checkouts are now backed up, the store shelves show significant out of stocks and the impression I am left with is one of just trying to squeeze out more or different sales without having to actually spend anything to generate those sales (like putting product on the shelf).
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