business news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Associated Press reports that, “energized by the #MeToo movement, two national advocacy groups are teaming up to lodge sexual harassment complaints against McDonald’s on behalf of 10 women who have worked at the fast food restaurant in nine cities.” The suits charge “a variety of offenses — groping, propositions for sex, indecent exposure and lewd comments by supervisors. According to their complaints, when the women reported the harassment, they were ignored or mocked, and in some cases suffered retaliation.”

According to the story, “The legal effort was organized by Fight for $15, which campaigns to raise pay for low-wage workers. The legal costs are being covered by the TIMES UP Legal Defense Fund, which was launched in January by the National Women’s Law Center to provide attorneys for women who cannot afford to bring cases on their own.”

McDonald’s spokesperson Terri Hickey tells the AP that there is “no place for harassment and discrimination of any kind” in the workplace, and that “McDonald’s Corporation takes allegations of sexual harassment very seriously and are confident our independent franchisees who own and operate approximately 90 percent of our 14,000 U.S. restaurants will do the same.”

Which doesn’t exactly sound like a confident denial to me.

• In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports that Hy-Vee opened its first Wahlburgers restaurant yesterday, “and another 25 will quickly follow over the next three years as the grocery store chain revs up its franchise partnership with Wahlberg brothers Mark, Donnie and Paul … Hy-Vee chief executive Randy Edeker said all 26 restaurants are expected to be open by the end of 2021 in the eight Midwestern states where it has Hy-Vee stores, including four in the Twin Cities … None of the restaurants will be in Hy-Vee stores, but the eight Twin Cities' Hy-Vees will start selling several Wahlburgers' entrees and drinks in the fall at their Market Grille restaurants.”

• In the UK, the Telegraph reports that Tesco “is removing ‘best before’ dates from most of its fresh fruit and vegetable packs, leaving consumers to use common sense to decide when they are no longer fit to eat … The move, which applies to own-brand lines including apples, potatoes, tomatoes, lemons and onions, comes after campaign groups warned best before dates were confusing shoppers and encouraging needless food waste.”
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