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Sherman A1

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Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
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Subway Will Close Over 500 U.S. Stores This Year

https://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/restaurantsandnews/subway-will-close-over-500-us-stores-this-year/ar-AAwkUki

With its commitment to customizability and the catchy $5 footlong jingle, it’s no wonder Subway is the most ubiquitous food chain in the world. In fact, its nearly 26,000 nationwide locations even top Mickey D’s by more than 10,000.

But it might be time to make one last mad dash to your neighborhood sandwich shop. Due to recent underperformance in sales compared to other fast food giants, Subway recently announced that it will be closing 500 U.S.stores this year. “We want to be sure that we have the best location. We focused in the past on restaurant count. We’re focused now on strengthening market share,” the company’s CEO, Suzanne Greco, told Bloomberg.

In the past, Subway took pride in its overpowering amount of national and international franchises. Many of the restaurants are small and simple, featuring only the tools and food necessary to slap together a sandwich. But the company’s competition comes in many forms. Supermarkets and gas stations offering grab-and-go sandwiches are on the rise. Plus, restaurants like McDonald’s are rolling out new menu items and touch-screen ordering tools. In response, Subway is leaning on its loyalty program, which offers discounts, specials, and freebies for U.S. and Canadian diners.

Along with upgrading their own technology (touch-screen ordering is now available in select stores), Subway executives decided to rethink their approach in terms of the number of storefronts. “Store count isn’t everything. It’s about growing the business,” Greco explained, adding that the real opportunity for expansion is abroad. As the U.S. stores close, Subway aims to shift its focus to its global markets. It’s planning to open a thousand new locations beyond North America and focus on locations in the U.K., Germany, South Korea, India, China, and Mexico.

Southwest Airlines mechanics union warned of too much outsourcing of maintenance work

Weeks before the engine failure caused a passenger death, Southwest Airlines mechanics union warned of a “ostrich-like head-in-the-sand approach” regarding problems with the company’s aircraft maintenance program, according to a report.

In a Feb. 26 email, Bret Oestreich, the national director of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, cautioned Southwest Airlines Chief Operating Officer Mike van de Ven that there was too much outsourcing of maintenance work.

The head of the mechanics union warned that 75% of the maintenance work was farmed out to third-party vendors, according to the Chicago Business Journal.

“The truth is there exists a serious concern regarding the degradation of safety within Southwest’s maintenance program as determined by the Federal Aviation Administration,” the labor leader wrote. “The truth is sometimes difficult to digest and accept. In addition, the view from the top you enjoy as chief operating officer may be breathtaking, but the distance from the high perch which you sit up on to day-to-day operations has obviously blurred your perception of reality.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/southwest-mechanics-union-warned-flawed-maintenance-program-article-1.3943751

Southwest Airlines mechanics union warned of too much outsourcing of maintenance work

Weeks before the engine failure caused a passenger death, Southwest Airlines mechanics union warned of a “ostrich-like head-in-the-sand approach” regarding problems with the company’s aircraft maintenance program, according to a report.

In a Feb. 26 email, Bret Oestreich, the national director of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, cautioned Southwest Airlines Chief Operating Officer Mike van de Ven that there was too much outsourcing of maintenance work.

The head of the mechanics union warned that 75% of the maintenance work was farmed out to third-party vendors, according to the Chicago Business Journal.

“The truth is there exists a serious concern regarding the degradation of safety within Southwest’s maintenance program as determined by the Federal Aviation Administration,” the labor leader wrote. “The truth is sometimes difficult to digest and accept. In addition, the view from the top you enjoy as chief operating officer may be breathtaking, but the distance from the high perch which you sit up on to day-to-day operations has obviously blurred your perception of reality.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/southwest-mechanics-union-warned-flawed-maintenance-program-article-1.3943751

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Judge refuses to throw out felony charge against Greitens

A St. Louis judge is allowing the criminal case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to move forward, rejecting a move by the governor's lawyers to dismiss it.

Circuit Judge Rex Burlison on Thursday disagreed with defense attorneys that the conduct by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and an investigator she hired was so bad that the only way to protect Greitens’ rights to a fair trial was to dismiss the felony invasion of privacy charge.

Although the conduct that has been seen in the discovery of this case is not to be condoned and it is serious, it is however, in the court’s opinion, capable of being cured," Burlison said in a court proceeding on Thursday morning. "Therefore the court, in considering sanctions, will not dismiss this case. The court will order lesser sanctions."

Greitens is accused of taking a semi-nude photo without the consent of a woman with whom he had had an affair, and then transmitting it in a way that it could be accessed by a computer. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge, and repeatedly called the case a “political witch hunt” by a liberal prosecutor.

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/judge-refuses-throw-out-felony-charge-against-greitens#stream/0

Missouri attorney general accuses Greitens of misusing charity donor list

Washington (CNN)Embattled Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who is already facing calls to resign over an extramarital affair and abuse allegations, was accused Tuesday by the state's attorney general of obtaining a charity donor list without permission.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced that his office had "uncovered evidence of wrongdoing" by the governor that he could be charged or prosecuted for related to an investigation into a veterans charity Greitens founded.

Hawley told reporters at a news conference that his office had found evidence that the governor obtained an electronic donor list from the charity The Mission Continues without permission and used the internal list for "political fundraising."

"If proven, these acts could amount to the unauthorized taking and use of property -- in this case electronic property. Under Missouri law, this is known as computer tampering and given the value of the list in question, it is a felony," Hawley said.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/17/politics/hawley-greitens-veterans-charity-investigation/index.html

Boston Store to close; 12 more in Wisconsin face same fate

RACINE — Regency Mall is about to lose another anchor tenant with Bon-Ton Stores’ announcement that it will close 13 Wisconsin Boston Stores including the one here.

Bon-Ton, parent company of Boston Store, has been ailing and notified the state of the mass closure Friday. The timetable was not specified.

The other Boston Stores to be closed include six in the greater Milwaukee area, two in Madison, and one each in Green Bay, Marshfield, Janesville and Eau Claire.

Even after the state issued its Wisconsin Business Closing and Mass Layoff, or WARN Act notice, it appeared the local store had not been notified it was being closed, according to the manager.

http://journaltimes.com/business/local/mall-s-boston-store-to-close-more-in-wisconsin-face/article_a8545e24-1f9c-5b01-bd99-baf35cacc919.html#tracking-source=home-top-story

Nine West files for bankruptcy

http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/06/news/companies/nine-west-bankruptcy/index.html

Nine West said in a statement that it plans to sell Nine West and its Bandolino line to Authentic Brands Group. ABG owns Juicy Couture and Aéropostale, among others.

The company's eponymous brand and Bandolino both sell women's shoes, handbags and accessories.
Ralph Schipani, the struggling retailer's CEO, said that the restructuring will help the company reduce debt and increase growth by allowing it to focus on its stronger brands, like Anne Klein and One Jeanswear Group.

"This is the right step," Schipani said. "We will retain our strong, profitable and growing apparel, jewelry, and jeanswear businesses." He added that the changes should help the company to "be well positioned for the future."

Walmart's Future Workforce: Robots and Freelancers

Over the past few weeks, Walmart executives have sketched a picture of the company’s future that features more self-checkouts and a grocery-delivery business—soon escalating to 100 cities from a pilot program in six cities. Personal shoppers will fill plastic totes with avocados and paper towels from Walmart store shelves, and hand off packages to crowdsourced drivers idling in the parking lot. Assembly will be outsourced, too: Workers on Handy, an online marketplace for home services, will mount televisions and assemble furniture.

The Walmart of the future relies more heavily on the gig economy and automation. This is an indication of the fierce competition between Walmart, the world’s largest private employer, and Amazon. A pair of recent studies suggests that it’s also a sign that the U.S. economy is tilting further toward jobs that give workers less market power.

One study, by Arindrajit Dube of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Jeff Jacobs and Suresh Naidu of Columbia University, and Siddharth Suri of Microsoft Research, sought to learn whether crowdsourced workers benefit from being able to choose their tasks and hours. The answer matters to a lot of workers. Flexible work arrangements, which include crowdsourcing platforms such as Uber, as well as freelancers and independent contractors, increased about 50 percent from 2005 to 2015. These jobs account for 94 percent—nearly all—of the net employment growth in the United States over that time.

This shift could be good for workers, in theory, if the flexibility of the gig economy lets them switch more easily between employers to take advantage of higher-paying offers. Yet in their analysis of the online-task marketplace Amazon Mechanical Turk, the researchers find that this isn’t necessarily happening. MTurk workers, or Turkers, get paid for repetitive tasks, such as tagging objects found in images or verifying restaurant phone numbers. According to the study, Turkers’ wages amount to less than 20 percent of their productivity—in other words, for every dollar of value produced on MTurk, workers receive less than 20 cents. The Turkers’ share compares with a share of 50 cents to 80 cents of every dollar for workers in the U.S. economy as a whole, Naidu says. “This suggests that much of the surplus created by this online labor-market platform is captured by employers,” the researchers write.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/04/walmarts-future-workforce-robots-and-freelancers/557063/

St. Louis County, Missouri April 3rd Election Turnout

From the St. Louis County Board of Election Website showing unofficial results.

PRECINCTS COUNTED (OF 781). . . . . 781 100.00
REGISTERED VOTERS - TOTAL . . . . . 618,726
BALLOTS CAST - TOTAL. . . . . . . 91,646
VOTER TURNOUT - TOTAL . . . . . . 14.81


This was pretty much an election of school boards, local city councils and very few things of much drama to get folks excited enough to get out to vote. In my polling spot with 2 precincts the turnout was just over 7% for an uncontested city council seat and school board election. One nearby polling place showed only 0.64% turnout, while another was at 27%.

Hopefully folks will be more interested come November.
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