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• Kroger employees in the company’s Dallas/Fort Worth division have ratified a new labor agreement that covers more than nine thousand employees in 92 stores.

• The Lakeland Ledger reports that Publix Super Markets “is experimenting with a new service to reinforce its motto of giving shoppers a pleasurable experience.

“Three stores … are wired as part of a pilot program to help the hearing impaired converse easier with cashiers, the help desk and pharmaceutical staff …. All three have in place a loop system, which is nothing more than a wire, usually positioned on the floor, that circles a room or a small counter space, creating a closed-circuit broadcast fed via microphone to hearing aids outfitted with a telecoil. Most newer hearing aids are equipped with such a device that works with the loop system to reduce reverberation in large spaces, muffles extraneous background noise and boosts clarity of speech.”

• The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the San Diego City Council’s Rules and Economic Development Committee has passed unanimously a proposed ban on the handing out of free single-use plastic shopping bags by retailers. “The ordinance would ban plastic bags at most stores, mandate a 10 cent per bag charge for customers who ask for paper bags, and require shopkeepers to maintain records for three years,” the story says,

The Union-Tribune reports that “the next steps are an environmental review and a tweaking of the language of the proposed law by the City Attorney's Office, so it might not reach the full City Council for adoption for nine months to one year from now, according to staff.”
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