OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart Says More Workers Insured

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Tuesday that the number of its workers without health insurance has fallen over the last year, helped by new plans.

Wal-Mart said that 7.3% of its sales associates had no health insurance, down from 9.6% a year ago.

According to a survey of 802,091 employees, Wal-Mart said 50.2% had a Wal-Mart health plan, while 22.3% were insured by a spouse’s plan, 4.3% by Medicare and 4.2% by their parents, school or college.

“With 690,970 associates—and more than 1.1 million people in total—now covered by Wal-Mart’s plans, we can see that the improvements we’ve made are being embraced by our associates and their families,” said Linda Dillman, Wal-Mart’s executive VP of benefits and risk management.

The company also said it will commission a study to better understand why some workers declined coverage and to identify things that can be done to encourage them to accept it in the future.

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Whole Foods to go resuable by Earth Day

BY CSA STAFF

AUSTIN, Texas Whole Foods Market today said it will end the use of disposable plastic grocery bags at its checkouts in all of its 270 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom by this Earth Day, April 22.

Whole Foods said that it is the first U.S. supermarket to commit to ending the use of disposable plastic grocery bags. In order to kick start the initiative, the company gave out more than 50,000 reusable shopping bags at checkout as part of “Bring Your Own Bag Day” and in celebration of today’s announcement.

According to Whole Foods, the company plans to phase out the disposable plastic bags over the next three months while increasing the selections of reusable bags for purchase

“Central to Whole Foods Market’s core values is caring for our communities and the environment, and this includes adopting wise environmental practices,” said A.C. Gallo, co-president and coo for Whole Foods Market. “More and more cities and countries are beginning to place serious restrictions on single-use plastic shopping bags since they don’t break down in our landfills, can harm nature by clogging waterways and endangering wildlife, and litter our roadsides. Together with our shoppers, our gift to the planet this Earth Day will be reducing our environmental impact as we estimate we will keep 100 million new plastic grocery bags out of our environment between Earth Day and the end of this year alone.”

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Borders names IT delivery services vp

BY CSA STAFF

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Borders Group announced today that it has named Gary Baker vp of IT delivery services, effective today.

The company reported that Baker will be responsible for the development and execution of IT strategic processes related to the delivery of technology as well as leading teams to ensure that business goals are met through delivery of necessary IT products and services, among other duties. The position reports to Borders Group cio Susan Harwood.

Prior to joining Borders Group, Baker served as director of IT transformation services, at AlixPartners LLP in Southfield, Mich., where he specialized in global operations and IT governance, business process alignment, organizational change management, vendor management, strategic planning, application development and Internet-related technologies and Web services. Before AlixPartners, Baker was with EDS in Detroit for five years, where he was managing director and process executive for General Motors Global Purchasing and Supply Chain and Global Business Services.

“Gary is recognized within the IT community as a seasoned leader with wide ranging experience marked by work with leading consultancies,” said Harwood. “We look forward to his leadership and contributions toward achieving our strategic goals.”

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