FINANCE

Report: Woman seeks class-action against Target over debt-collection methods

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — A western Pennsylvania woman filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against Target Corp. and its law firm over the chain’s debt-collection practices, the Associated Press reported. The woman claims false affidavits were used to go after customers who allegedly owed money to a subsidiary bank that issues the store’s credit cards.

The lawsuit filed by Vicki Higgins’ seeks class-action status on behalf of thousands of Target customers who have repaid Target National Bank debts, paid legal fees, lost lawsuits or had their credit scores damaged as a result of debt collections using the allegedly false affidavits. It seeks unspecified damages and a court order to stop the debt-collection practices alleged by Higgins.

Jessica Carlson, a spokeswoman for Minneapolis-based Target, said the company had not been served with the lawsuit and had no comment, according to the Associated Press.

The lawsuit said Target National Bank sued Higgins over an alleged credit-card debt in April 2009, then dropped the case five months later. The lawsuit doesn’t say how much Higgins allegedly owed, and her attorney, Jeffrey Suher, did not immediately return a call for comment, the report said.

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FINANCE

Results of strike authorization vote by California grocery workers due Thursday

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — More than 60,000 Southern California grocery workers cast their votes on Wednesday whether to authorize a strike if contract talks with three of the nation’s largest supermarket chains break down. A two-thirds majority vote was needed for passage.

The talks are with The Vons Cos.; Ralphs Grocery Co., a subsidiary of The Kroger Co.; and Albertsons, owned by Supervalu.

The last contract expired on March 6, and employees continue working under its provisions on a day-to-day basis. However, the union contends that company negotiators have failed to provide a comprehensive proposal regarding pay and health benefits.

"Management’s unwillingness to negotiate in good faith, and instead play chicken with the well-being of their employees and employees’ families is wrong," Local 770 President Rick Icaza said in a statement.

The companies said the strike-authorization vote is premature.

"Ralphs is committed to the negotiations process, and while we have difficult issues to work through, the best thing to do is work together on solutions and reach an agreement," Ralphs spokeswoman Kendra M. Doyel said in a statement.

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Report: Borders seeking more funding

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Borders is seeking at least $50 million in additional financing as sales trail expectations and publishers demand cash in advance, according to two people who have seen the chain’s plans to reorganize, Bloomberg reported. The bankrupt retailer already has a $505 million debtor-in-possession loan from lenders led by GE Capital.

Borders may risk liquidation without further investment, easier terms from vendors or a buyer, said the people, who declined to be identified because the process isn’t public, the report said.

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