Boston airline catering workers, union leaders to protest at American Airlines HQ
A handful of Boston airline catering workers and union leaders plan to get arrested Tuesday in Fort Worth as part of a protest at American Airlines headquarters. Around 100 employees of LSG Sky Chefs, along with Unite Here organizers, including the president of Local 26 in Boston, are planning to block the road to American’s corporate campus as they seek to draw attention to their fight for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and affordable health insurance. Earlier this summer, more than 25,000 airline catering workers around the country, including 650 serving 31 airlines at Logan Airport, voted to authorize a strike against their employers, Sky Chefs and Gate Gourmet. The workers can’t strike until they are cleared by the National Mediation Board, however, and Unite Here formally requested a release to strike last month during a rally at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., attended by presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Airline catering workers have been picketing at airports across the country this summer and talk has swirled about a work slow-down that could potentially disrupt air travel. American, Sky Chef’s largest customer, said in a statement that it is not involved in contract negotiations and doesn’t control the wages of its contractors. “We would like the catering vendor and the union to reach agreement as soon as possible,” the airline said. Progress is being made with the help of a federal mediator, LSG Sky Chefs said in a statement. “We remain committed to negotiating in good faith, and we hope that union members will act lawfully as they exercise their right to demonstrate or protest.” — KATIE JOHNSTON
Versace, Coach, Givenchy run afloul of political sensitivities in China
The luxury brands Coach and Givenchy joined Versace on Monday in apologizing to China for producing T-shirts that were regarded to have undermined the country’s sovereignty. The apparel, which identified the semiautonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau as countries, set off an angry online backlash from Chinese consumers who perceived the designs as violations of the “One China” policy. Millions of social media users across China called for boycotts of the Western luxury companies’ products Monday, after images of the three garments, which are no longer for sale, circulated over the weekend by users on social media platforms such as Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblogging site. The furor comes as pro-democracy demonstrations continued to grip Hong Kong. The protests have heightened political sensitivities, particularly around China’s territorial claims and Hong Kong’s status. — NEW YORK TIMES
Amazon-backed service pulls out of Germany
Amazon.com Inc.-backed food-delivery service Deliveroo announced an abrupt retreat from Germany after more than four years, a casualty of increasingly cutthroat competition tearing through the industry. The service will cease operations in Europe’s largest economy on Aug. 16, telling customers in an e-mail Monday that it can no longer offer the desired “brilliant” service standard. Instead, Deliveroo will focus on “growing our operations in other markets around the world.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS
L’Oreal ordered to pay California startup more than $91m in trade secrets case
L’Oreal SA must pay a California-based startup $91.4 million for stealing its trade secrets, breaching a contract, and infringing two patents related to a popular system that protects hair during bleaching treatments, a federal jury decided Monday. The jury, in Wilmington, Del., also found that L’Oreal’s acts were intentional, leaving the door open for the judge to substantially increase the damages if he chooses. Olaplex LLC had accused the French giant of stealing the secrets in a meeting in California in 2015, when the companies were in talks for L’Oreal to buy the startup. L’Oreal, during a weeklong trial, said it independently conceived the use of a critical acid in August 2014 and developed its products on its own.
— BLOOMBERG NEWS
French broadcasters get approval for platform to rival Netflix
France’s main broadcasters won approval from regulators to establish a streaming platform to rival Netflix Inc. It’s taken more than a year for Television Francaise 1 SA, Metropole Television SA, and France Televisions to get the green light from competition authorities to set up on-demand video service Salto. The companies face a sustained competitive assault from Netflix and Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Video, and further audience losses could follow when Walt Disney Co. begins its Disney+ platform in Europe later in the year. The French broadcasters will start Salto in the first quarter of 2020, “pooling their resources in an ambitious local response to changing audience expectations,” they said in a statement.
— BLOOMBERG NEWS
Icahn awarded two seats on board of Cloudera Inc.
Carl Icahn has reached an agreement with Cloudera Inc. that will see the activist investor awarded two seats on the technology company’s board. The billionaire disclosed his position in the enterprise cloud-software company earlier this month, arguing it was undervalued. Icahn has been building his position since and held roughly 18.4 percent of the company as of last week, according to a regulatory filing. — BLOOMBERG NEWS
Public pensions post weakest performance in three years
US public pensions posted their weakest performance in three years, falling a percentage point short of their investment targets, and the prospect of rock-bottom interest rates and a trade-war induced recession could put a greater strain on state and city retirement plans. The median US public pension returned 6.2 percent in the fiscal year ending on June 30 after paying fees to investment managers, according to Norwalk, Conn.-based InvestmentMetrics, which provides analytics to institutional investors. Pensions assume a median annual investment return of 7.3 percent to cover promised benefits. — BLOOMBERG NEWS
Rite Aid names digital health executive as next CEO
Rite Aid Corp. said that Heyward Donigan, a digital health executive with little retail background, will be the pharmacy chain’s next CEO. Donigan, 58, will succeed chief executive John Standley, 56, who the company announced in March was leaving. Rite Aid has struggled with a falling stock price and questions about its future after selling about half of its stores to rival Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. last year. Donigan most recently served as CEO of Sapphire Digital, which sells services to help steer people toward health-care providers who offer lower costs and good quality, and helps employers and health plans manage patients who need complex procedures. Rite Aid is the smallest of the big major US drugstore chains, all of which are facing challenges from digital competitors like Amazon.com Inc. that crave not only their retail customers, but increasingly also a piece of the back-of-the-story pharmacy business. Amazon and Rite Aid already have a partnership through which customers can pick up packages at some Rite Aid stores. — BLOOMBERG NEWS