EEOC SUES BASHAS' OVER TRIBAL HIRING PRACTICES
re is being sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for refusing to hire two Hopi Indians at a store in Tuba City, Ariz., located on land the retailer leases from the Navajo Nation. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, also claims Bashas' failed to retain employment applications, as required by federal law. According to Mary Jo O'Neill, regional attorney for the EEOC's Phoenix office, "Private employers conducting business on or near a reservation may have an Indian preference clause in their hiring practices, but that law does not permit tribal preferences." Bashas' officials could not be reached for comment. However, a chain spokeswoman told local media the company is caught between federal law, which prohibits discrimination, and Navajo tribal law, which prohibits the hiring of non-Navajos on Navajo tribal land. The suit seeks monetary relief against Bashas', including back pay with pre-judgment interest, plus compensatory and punitive damages.
WAL-MART EYES SITES IN NEW YORK CITY, CALIFORNIA
NEW YORK -- Wal-Mart Stores is considering three sites in Brooklyn, as well as two in Staten Island, people familiar with the situation said. The search in Brooklyn is said to center on Fulton Street, with Coney Island and Red Hook also under consideration. Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart is also looking at two locations on Staten Island, sources said. Wal-Mart has been the target of political and organized labor opponents in New York who say it shortchanges employees on wages and benefits, and hurts small businesses, among other things. "Wal-Mart would have to make serious changes in its business practices to gain my support," said Marty Markowitz, borough president, Brooklyn. Separately, Wal-Mart has proposed building a 1 million-square-foot regional distribution center in Merced, Calif. The center, which is tentatively scheduled to begin construction in 2007 and service stores by 2008, would be Wal-Mart's fourth distribution center in California. The project needs to complete site plans and conduct an environmental impact report before receiving approval, reports said.
EAGLE FOOD CENTERS MAKES PAYMENTS TO CREDITORS
WILMETTE, Ill. -- Eagle Food Centers, the retail chain that liquidated through bankruptcy in 2003, has made $102.8 million in payments to unsecured creditors -- or about 15% of what it owed, the company said in a recent report. The board of directors also said it has named a new wind-down officer, Susan Watson, to replace Randall D. McMurray, who resigned. The company is nearing the final stages of its wind down, it noted.
FLEMING TRUST REDUCES ESTIMATE FOR PAYOUTS
DALLAS -- The post-confirmation trust created to oversee the disposition of the assets of former wholesaler Fleming Cos. last week said it was seeking to reduce the amount of stock in Fleming's successor company, Core-Mark, that is being held for distribution to certain general unsecured creditors. The trust said it now believes the total of general unsecured claims that will ultimately be allowed will be no more than $2.58 billion, down from previous projections of $3.29 billion. As a result, the trust would redistribute Core-Mark shares to those secured creditors that had previously received stock.
PENN TRAFFIC WAREHOUSE WORKERS END STRIKE
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Employees of Penn Traffic's health and beauty/general merchandise warehouse in Jamestown, N.Y., returned to work last week after voting to ratify a contract offer and end a two-week strike, union and Penn Traffic officials said. The 53 warehouse workers walked out on Aug. 8, saying the contract offered to them by Penn Traffic was not equitable with what the retailer was paying warehouse workers in Syracuse and DuBois, Pa. The new contract calls for pay raises of at least $1.50 an hour over three years and increased pension contributions.