Business

Food Industry
6:48 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Can Oxfam Nudge Big Food Companies To Do Right?

A campaign called Behind The Brands, led by Oxfam International, is trying to make the inner workings of the 10 biggest food companies in the world more visible to consumers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 3:02 pm

It's not always easy to connect the dots between the food we consume and the people who grow it, or the impact of growing and processing that food on the health of our planet.

But a campaign called Behind the Brands, led by Oxfam International, an advocacy organization dedicated to fighting poverty, is trying to make the inner workings of the 10 biggest food companies in the world more visible.

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Retail
3:29 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Holiday Gas Prices Lowest In Four Years

A graphic produced by Gasbuddy.com shows regional variation of gas prices.
GasBuddy.com via USEIA

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:52 pm

Some good news heading into the long weekend: Labor Day gas prices are at their lowest level in four years.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the nationwide average for retail regular was $3.45 per gallon on Aug. 25 — that's the lowest average price for a Monday ahead of Labor Day since 2010, and it's about $0.25 per gallon less than at the end of June this year. The current price is down from the record average of $3.83 for the 2012 holiday.

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Grocery Stores
11:22 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Arthur T. Demoulas Reinstated As CEO Of Market Basket

Market Basket employee Melbi Peraza, of Chelsea, restocks frozen shrimp at a Market Basket location in Chelsea Thursday. (Steven Senne/AP)

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 2:19 pm

Workers spent much of Thursday loading up delivery trucks and getting food back into 71 New England Market Basket stores, following the remarkable conclusion of one of the most amazing stories in American business history.

In short, Arthur T. Demoulas is back in. More than six weeks after he was ousted as CEO by the Market Basket board, Wednesday night, company shareholders approved a deal in which Demoulas purchased a controlling stake in the company and returned as CEO.

Which meant that Thursday, many of the company’s 25,000 workers were also back on the job.

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Casino Diversification
9:38 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Foxwoods Bets on Retail

The concourse now has floor-to-ceiling glass facades
Harriet Jones WNPR

Foxwoods unveils its newly revamped retail concourse on Friday, the first of two big retail projects the gaming giant has in progress.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Connecticut Work Life: Past, Present, and Future

American Woolen, Stafford Springs.
American Woolen Company

In 1894, a new national holiday was created -- a day when American workers could retreat from harsh work conditions and long hours to spend some time with family and friends. The holiday was called Labor Day.

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Working Hours
12:42 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Who's In The Office? The American Workday In One Graph

Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 11:36 am

Researchers often look at the number of hours worked, but rarely do they ask the question of when. Fortunately, the government conducts an annual study called the American Time Use Survey that tracks how people spend their days.

The interactive graph below shows the share of workers who say they're working in a given hour, grouped by occupation. Play with the different job categories to see how the average workdays differ from one another.

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Security Breach
10:34 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Russian Hackers Reportedly Hit JPMorgan, Other Banks

JPMorgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York. The bank is one of several reportedly targeted by Russian hackers.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 11:21 am

The FBI says it's working with the Secret Service to investigate reports that Russian hackers breached security at JPMorgan Chase and other financial institutions, stealing customers' account information in possible retaliation for U.S. government sanctions on Moscow.

"We are working with the United States Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyberattacks against several American financial institutions," FBI spokesman Joshua Campbell said in a statement late Wednesday.

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Planet Money
8:44 am
Thu August 28, 2014

A Mall With Two Minimum Wages

Wetzel's Pretzels employee Emperatriz Orozco hands out free samples at the Westfield Valley Fair Mall.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 7:20 am

The Westfield Valley Fair Mall straddles two cities. One side of the mall is in Santa Clara, but walk a few feet down the mall, and you're in San Jose. In 2012, San Jose voters agreed to raise the city's minimum wage from $8 to $10 an hour.

Philip Sandigo manages a shoe store on the $8-an-hour side. When San Jose raised the minimum wage, he lost about half his staff.

They went to the stores on the side of the mall that paid $2 an hour more.

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Healthy Workplace
1:23 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Work-Related Illnesses Fall in Connecticut

Credit Fuse / Thinkstock

The number of workers sickened on the job in Connecticut has declined slightly, according to a new study by UConn. Occupational illnesses in the state, however, remain more prevalent than the national average. 

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Fast Food
9:25 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Burger King To Buy Canada's Tim Hortons For $11 Billion

A pedestrian walks past a Burger King restaurant near downtown Los Angeles.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 9:05 am

In a deal that would create the third-largest fast-food chain, Burger King announced on Tuesday that it intended to buy Canada's Tim Hortons for about $11 billion.

The deal, reports Bloomberg, also moves the company's headquarters to Canada. Bloomberg explains:

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Western Massachusetts
12:47 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Berkshire Performance Venues Report Successful Summers

The cast of "A Midsummer NIght's Dream" at Pittsfield's Shakespeare in the Park.

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 12:38 pm

As the days of August tick away, many Berkshires performance venues are closing the curtains on their summer sessions.

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Inc. 500
7:47 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Connecticut Companies Make "Fastest-Growing" List

Credit Inc. Magazine

Three Connecticut companies are among the 500 fastest growing businesses in the nation. That’s according to the latest ranking by Inc. magazine. 

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Vermont
12:02 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Legendary Vermont Bakers May Stop Selling Beloved Sourdough Bread

Rabin bread on a rock at the farmers market in Plainfield prior to setting up the table.
Jon Kalish for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 5:26 pm

When Jules Rabin lost his job teaching anthropology in 1977, he and his wife, Helen, turned to baking to keep their family afloat. For 37 years they've baked sourdough bread that people in central Vermont can't seem to live without.

The year before Jules left Goddard College, he and Helen built a replica of a 19th century peasant oven, hauling 70 tons of fieldstone from nearby fields. The stones covered an igloo-shaped brick baking chamber 5 1/2 feet in diameter.

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Regional Casinos
8:32 am
Thu August 21, 2014

A Crowded Field Will Squeeze Profits At New England Casinos

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 10:43 am

The rising number of casinos in New England that’s hurting the Foxwoods Resort Casino is both a threat to table games in Rhode Island and the reason to add more.

Analyst Clyde Barrow said the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut has been losing millions of dollars since its peak in 2006. To blame: a slow economic recovery and a growing number of casinos in New England.

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Business
1:54 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Ex-Microsoft CEO Ballmer Steps Down From Company's Board

Steve Ballmer, the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, is stepping down from Microsoft's board. Ballmer, who recently resigned as Microsoft's CEO, is the largest individual shareholder of the company.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 11:52 am

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, 58, has resigned from the company's board citing other time consuming commitments including his new ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Tuesday's announcement closes a chapter in Ballmer's 34 years with the software giant. He remains the largest individual shareholder in the company.

Ballmer spent $2 billion of his roughly $20 billion fortune on the Clippers purchase, which a judge confirmed last week.

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Job Statistics
2:09 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Connecticut Recovery Shows Mixed Fortunes

David Lewis, president and CEO of Operations Inc.
Credit CBIA

Recent jobs numbers from the Connecticut Department of Labor showed some areas of the state recovering much better than others.

Late last week, the state released figures for July job gains, the sixth straight month in which Connecticut employers have been hiring. The state overall gained a net 2,400 jobs in the month.

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Bilingual Tax Help
10:44 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Revenue Services Reaches Out to Hispanic Businesses in Connecticut

Park Street in Hartford is home to many Hispanic-run businesses.
Tucker Ives WNPR

The state of Connecticut is trying to make it easier for Spanish-speaking business owners to pay their taxes. The Department of Revenue Services has produced a Spanish language video on electronic filing.

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WAMC News
9:44 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Connecticut Unemployment Rate Falls To 6.6 Percent

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 5:16 am

Connecticut's Labor Department says the state added jobs for a sixth straight month in July, dropping the unemployment rate to 6.6 percent.

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Startups
6:22 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Uber And Lyft Spar Over Alleged Ride Cancellations

It's not all pink mustaches and fist bumps in the business of on-demand car services.
Jose A. Iglesias MCT/Landov

Uber and Lyft are battling for customers looking for rides via smartphones, but maybe not everyone is fighting fairly.

CNNMoney reports that Uber employees have ordered and canceled more than 5,000 Lyft rides since October, according to Lyft's data.

"And it's not just a rogue employee or two," CNN reports. "Lyft claims 177 Uber employees around the country have booked and canceled rides in that time frame."

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Technology
2:46 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Many Women Leave Engineering, Blame The Work Culture

Respondents in a survey of women with engineering degrees said that many companies did not provide opportunities for women like them to advance and develop.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 8:57 am

From the aerospace sector to Silicon Valley, engineering has a retention problem: Close to 40 percent of women with engineering degrees either leave the profession or never enter the field.

Conventional wisdom says that women in engineering face obstacles such as the glass ceiling, a lack of self-confidence and a lack of mentors. But psychologists who delved deeper into the issue with a new study found that the biggest pushbacks female engineers receive come from the environments they work in.

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Airline Industry
12:26 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Malaysia's Money-Losing Airline Will Become National Property

Flight attendants of Malaysia Airlines walk past their company's counter Friday at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia.
Chong Voon Chung Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 5:41 pm

Malaysia plans to nationalize its flag carrier Malaysia Airlines after back-to-back disasters and a 12-year stretch that saw the company restructured four times. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing that another complete restructuring will follow, in a bid to pull the airline out of its financial tailspin.

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Industry Revival
2:12 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Stafford Springs Textile Mills Back in Action

American Woolen has restarted production at Stafford Springs.
American Woolen Company

Textiles are once again being produced in Stafford Springs. Eight months after the Warren Corporation mills closed, ending the industry in Connecticut, the newly-reopened company has taken its first work order.

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Telecommunications
12:23 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Sprint Names New CEO, As T-Mobile Bid Is Said To Crumble

A woman using a cell phone walks past T-Mobile and Sprint stores in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 1:10 pm

Just as reports surfaced that Sprint, and its corporate parent SoftBank, were ending their bid to merge with T-Mobile, the company announced it was appointing a new CEO.

Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son said Marcelo Claure, who runs Brightstar, a wireless company and subsidiary of SoftBank, would replace Dan Hesse, who has been Sprint's president and CEO since 2007.

In the announcement, Son made a passing reference to Sprint's decision to forgo the T-Mobile merger.

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Electricity Law
3:37 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

New Regulations Aim for More Transparency for Connecticut's Electric Consumers

Brian Cassidy Creative Commons

Consumer advocates say that new laws passed this year will help electric consumers dealing with higher-than-expected rates from so-called "third-party" electric providers. Many of these companies offer lower initial rates than the major utilities -- Connecticut Light and Power and United Illuminating -- but the rates can later spike, often without warning. 

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WAMC News
1:26 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Massachusetts Gives Shoppers Another Sales Tax-free Weekend

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 12:26 pm

Shoppers in Massachusetts can look forward to a sales tax holiday later this month. The Massachusetts legislature in the closing minutes of the legislative session last week set the sales tax-free shopping days for August 16 and 17.

The sales tax holiday was included in a comprehensive economic development bill that contains dozens of programs and incentives designed to create jobs. State  Senator Gale Candaras  of  Wilbraham, who helped write the bill, acknowledges there is scant evidence the sales tax holiday does much to grow the Massachusetts economy.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Consumer Check-In: Alternative Electricity Suppliers; Herbalife Nutrition Clubs

Elin Katz.
Chion Wolf WNPR

A new “bill of rights” has gone into effect for Connecticut’s electricity consumers. The bill is aimed at creating greater transparency in the marketing practices of third-party electric suppliers -- after many consumers complained that their electricity bills were increasing without warning.

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Automobiles
7:21 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

GM Stays At The Top As U.S. Car Sales Surge In July

Sales of GM's cars slid by 3.8 percent from July 1013, but its light trucks and SUVs, like this Buick Enclave, more than made up for it, spiking 17.5 percent.
AP

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 12:28 pm

Sales incentives helped U.S. auto sales rise in July, as major auto companies reported selling more than 120,000 more vehicles than the same month last year. GM retained its spot as the U.S. sales leader.

Sales of passenger cars rose by nearly 5 percent this July compared to last year, with sales of light trucks even higher, at 13.4 percent, according to data released Friday by research firm Autodata Corp.

GM sold 256,160 vehicles last month, beating Toyota's 215,802 and Ford's 211,467.

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Wrestling Slammed
11:08 am
Fri August 1, 2014

WWE to Cut Seven Percent of Staff

WWE wrestler The Miz (Michael Greg "Mike" Mizanin) wins a Money in the Bank award in 2010.
Deron Kamisato Creative Commons

World Wrestling Entertainment will cut seven percent of its workforce, as it continues its efforts to remake the company. 

Stamford-based WWE reported a loss for the second quarter. It’s currently grappling with a 25 percent slide in its share price, and a less than impressive ramp up for its streaming online video network. 

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U.S. Economy
9:52 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Unemployment Ticks Up To 6.2 Percent; 209,000 Jobs Added

Construction workers building a commercial complex Thursday in Springfield, Ill., earlier this month. The sector has been on a gradual rebound following a devastating hit during the housing collapse in 2008.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 8:44 am

The nation's unemployment rate moved up a bit in the month of July, to 6.2 percent, as more Americans who'd been sitting on the sidelines started looking for work, according to the latest monthly report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 209,000 jobs, a bit less than economists had expected.

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Energy Industry
8:44 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Tensions Stir At EPA Hearings On New Emission Rules

Some 5,000 union members, led by the United Mine Workers of America, march outside the William S. Moorhead Federal Building on Thursday in Pittsburgh. The city hosted two days of public hearings by the Environmental Protection Agency on stricter pollution rules for coal-burning power plants.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 7:14 am

The coal industry made its presence known in Pittsburgh this week for public hearings on President Obama's controversial plan to address climate change. A key element is rules the Environmental Protection Agency proposed in June. They would cut greenhouse gas emissions — chiefly carbon dioxide — from existing power plants. The national goal is 30 percent by 2030, based on 2005 levels.

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