OPERATIONS

Workers at Macy’s store in Massachusetts can unionize

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – The National Labor Relations Board has issued a ruling that workers in the cosmetics and fragrances department in a Macy’s store located in Saugus, Massachusetts, have the right to attempt to unionize. The 3-1 ruling sided with the United Food and Commercial Workers union and said the 41 Macy’s employees form a community of interest.

The Retail Litigation Center (RLC) issued the following statement in response to the decision.

“The decision from the NLRB abandons longstanding legal precedent for retail store bargaining unit determinations in favor of an illogical and circular analysis intended to tilt the balance at the expense of the overall harmony and unity of a retail store’s full employee complement,” said RLC president Deborah White. “Nothing in this case justified a departure from a half-century’s worth of precedent that consistently recognized a presumption in the retail context in favor of the whole-store unit. These labor practices are fundamentally at odds with the needs of the retail industry and the expectations of American consumers.”

The National Retail Federation, which filed an amicus brief in the Macy’s case, said the ruling was improper and accused the board of overstepping its bounds to advocate for unions.

"Recognizing individual groups of employees that work in the same store as unique bargaining units is nonsensical and impractical," said David French, senior VP of government relations, NRF, in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.

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OPERATIONS

DEA investigates Safeway

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pleasanton, Calif. – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is investigating how Safeway Inc. reports and keeps records on the theft and loss of controlled substances. In a regulatory filing, Safeway said it received a subpoena from the DEA to look into its controlled substance practices.

The filing also said Safeway cannot be sure how much financial liability could be potentially involved as a result of the investigation, but should not affect its fiscal results. Safeway is cooperating with the DEA. In 2012, the DEA revoked the controlled substance licenses of two CVS locations in Florida.

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OPERATIONS

Lowe’s to open customer support center in Indiana

BY Marianne Wilson

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Lowe’s announced plans to locate a customer support center in Indianapolis, creating up to 1,000 new jobs by 2016.

The retailer plans to invest $20.5 million to purchase, renovate and equip a 140,000-sq.-ft. office facility at Intech Park 12, 6620 Network Way, on the northwest side of Indianapolis. The new center will support stores and internet sales, delivery services and repair services for Lowe’s customers across the United States.

The facility is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2015 and will complement the company’s existing customer support centers located in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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