09/23/2019

News

After Raising Wages, Walmart Slashes Hours

The cost of that wage increase has been estimated at more than $1 billion, and it seems as though the retailer is offsetting that cost with cuts to employee hours. The reductions began weeks ago, during the busy back-to-school shopping period.

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Gov. Brown Signs Job Protections for Grocery Workers

Business groups opposed the bill, arguing that it would force a company to keep its predecessor’s employees and adhere to contracts that the new owner did not negotiate. The California Chamber of Commerce labeled the measure, AB 359, a “job killer.”

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Tesla Owners Frustrated by Recharge Waits

. . . use of the chargers is included in the price of a Tesla, and advertised as being “free for life.” While many of its rivals spend big money on advertising, Tesla has invested millions of dollars in charging stations meant to be an extra incentive for buyers to consider its pricey electric car.

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Starbucks Will Close All La Boulange Locations

The shops and the two manufacturing facilities that serve them will close by the end of September.

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Gap to Slash Hundreds of Jobs, Shutter 180 Stores

Clothing giant Gap, Inc. (NYSE: GPS) will lay off 250 workers at its San Francisco headquarters and shutter 175 stores, the company said Monday.

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Grocery Workers Job Protection Bill Passes California Assembly

Assembly Bill 359, which passed 42-26, bars stores from firing workers for non-performance reasons within 90 days of a merger or buyout. After that grace period expires stores would need to conduct performance reviews to help decide whether to keep the employees.

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US Retail Sales Disappoint Again

Retail sales barely budged in April, confounding projections for a small increase, figures from the Commerce Department showed Wednesday. That followed a 0.2 percent drop from January through March that marked the first quarterly decline in almost three years.

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Gas Prices Spike in Sacramento, State Due to Refinery Issues

Due to problems with refineries in California, gas prices rose sharply in the state and in the Sacramento region. The average price of a gallon of regular gas is $3.257 compared to $2.974 a week ago, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.

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US Consumers Open Their Wallets, Cautiously

Sales at retailers and restaurants increased 0.9% last month to a seasonally adjusted $441.4 billion, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was the biggest monthly gain in a year, but it was still down from November, when retail sales reached their highest level since the end of the recession.

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US Consumer Spending Tepid; Savings at Two-Year High

U.S. consumer spending barely rose in February as households used the windfall from lower gasoline prices to boost savings to the highest level in more than two years, the latest sign that the economy hit a soft patch in the first quarter.

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RIP, Borderlands Books

In an open letter, the owners Alan Beatts and Jude Feldman explain that they can’t pay San Francisco’s new $15 minimum wage (a minimum wage that they support). That increase will raise their payroll costs by 39% and their overall costs by 18% — and since they can’t raise the cost of their books (because they’re pre-priced, and retail priced books are already a tough sell in the age of Amazon), the only way they could cover the increase would be to stop paying themselves, or fire almost everyone and work insane hours. The cafe attached the store will stay open for the foreseeable, since those prices are flexible and can be raised to account for their increased overheads.

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California’s Scrambled Eggs

This comes when egg demand is growing, in part because soaring meat prices have caused Americans to turn to other foods. Per capita consumption is expected to reach more than 260 eggs this year, the highest since 1983, according to the USDA. The poorest consumers have been hit hardest by the price spike because eggs have traditionally been a cheap source of protein.

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U.S. Retail Sales Reflect Consumer Caution Despite Lower Gas Prices

Sales at retailers and restaurants decreased a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in December from a month earlier, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. But that drop, the largest since last January, likely overstates the severity of the pullback. Some economists blamed technical factors such as seasonal adjustments, warning about potential revisions to the data or a rebound in coming months.

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SF Supervisors Vote 10-0 to Approve “Bill of Rights” for Formula Retail Workers

Mar’s ordinance requires businesses to pay employees for four hours if an employee is either on-call or sent home early, and mandates businesses to offer extra hours to part-time workers before hiring new employees. Chiu’s legislation calls on formula retail stores to post employees’ schedules 14 days in advance, give workers extra pay for changing a schedule at the last minute, and allow the same access to requests for time off and particular work schedules to part-time workers that they do for full-time employees.

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New Car Sales Grow Again in California

The association said California car and light truck sales improved 7.3 percent in the first six months of 2014. That compared with a 5.4 percent increase nationwide.

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