OPERATIONS

Senator calls for Lumber Liquidators investigation

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toano, Va. – Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida) is publicly calling for federal agencies to investigate the formaldehyde levels in wood flooring sold at Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. Nelson, highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, sent an open letter to the heads of Consumer Product Safety Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Trade Commission.

Nelson’s letter follows a “60 Minutes” segment that highlighted Lumber Liquidators’ alleged practice of using Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring containing high levels of formaldehyde, violating California's health and safety codes. Undercover reporters were shown talking to factory managers who admitted to using false labeling certifying that the products complied with regulations.

Lumber Liquidators continues to stand by its products, maintaining that the claims against the company are made by short-selling investors.

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Petland hires ex-Walmart exec as it aims to expand

BY CSA STAFF

Petland has hired a former Walmart executive as vice president of corporate stores as the pet supply retailer looks to expand its national footprint.

Although Tony Samples last worked at Walmart in 2006, Petland touted his Walmart experience in a news release. "Tony brings extensive retail experience to Petland at a time when Petland is expanding its retail footprint," said Petland President and CEO Joe Watson. Samples will lead Petland's retail store division and oversee the company's merchandising and marketing efforts.

Samples, a native of Cedartown, Georgia, has more than 30 years of retail experience. As vice president in retail operations at Walmart, he had a proven record of producing bottom-line results, operational process improvement, and rapidly growing market share, the Petland release said.

Samples was a recipient of the Sam Walton Hero Award and the NAACP Regional Director's Award. Currently he serves on the executive advisory council for Berry College's Campbell School of Business (Mount Berry, Ga.).

"I am thankful to be joining Petland at this exciting time. I look forward to helping guide the company through this expansion as we introduce the Petland brand into new markets," Samples said.

Petland is a franchise operation with 131 full service retail pet centers across the United States, Canada, Japan, China, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil and El Salvador.

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OPERATIONS

American Apparel workers create coalition

BY Dan Berthiaume

Los Angeles – Factory workers of American Apparel established a coalition of workers to advocate for their rights before new corporate management. Hundreds of workers met on Feb. 28 to organize themselves into the "Coalition of American Apparel Factory Workers United to Save American Apparel."

Among the demands raised by the coalition are to stop using "Sweatshop Free" in company advertising; stop the reduction of production hours and the furloughing of workers; and stop the intimidation of workers by security guards and supervisors for seeking to meet and organize themselves to address workplace issues.

The coalition is organizing with the support of Hermandad Mexicana, an immigrant's rights advocacy non-profit.

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