OPERATIONS

Jobless claims in U.S. increase a more-than-expected 397,000 last week

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — A report released Thursday by the U.S. Labor Department showed that jobless claims in the United States rose by 26,000 for the week ended March 5, to 397,000.

Economists expected claims would climb to 376,000, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The total number of people receiving benefits in the prior week fell to the lowest since October 2008.

A Labor Department official told Bloomberg that claims generally rise the week after a federal holiday and some New England states reported more claims due to school holidays. Presidents’ Day was Feb. 21.

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OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart worker group seeks Scalia’s recusal from gender-bias case

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — A Wednesday report by Bloomberg said that Wal-Mart Watch, a union-funded group that advocates for Wal-Mart Stores workers, said Justice Antonin Scalia should disqualify himself when the U.S. Supreme Court considers the company’s bid to derail a gender-bias suit on behalf of potentially one million employees.

According to the report, Wal-Mart Watch said recusal was warranted because Scalia’s son Eugene has represented Wal-Mart in other cases. Eugene Scalia is co-chairman of the labor and employment practice group at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, the Los Angeles- based firm representing Wal-Mart in the discrimination case.

The justices will hear arguments in the case on March 29. A federal appeals court approved a single suit to cover women who worked at the 4,400 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores since 2001. Wal-Mart has argued that the lower court made it too easy for workers with different job histories to band together in a single case.

Wal-Mart is facing billions of dollars in potential liability in the case.

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FINANCE

Morrisons invests in online grocer FreshDirect

BY CSA STAFF

London — Wm. Morrison Supermarkets PLC said Thursday that it has acquired a 10% stake in U.S. online grocer FreshDirect, based in New York City.

According to Morrison, the U.K. fourth-largest supermarket chain, the acquisition marks its debut in the online food market.

Morrison has also announced plans to test a c-store format and to expand its grocery store counts in order to increase its presence in the U.K grocery market.

Morrison will pay $51.7 million for the 10% stake in FreshDirect. It will also take a seat on its board.

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