McDon­ald’s will not fight min­i­mum wage hikes

The Buffalo News - - BUSINESS - – New York Times – Bloomberg News – New York Times

In an abrupt shift, a top McDon­ald’s of­fi­cial said Tues­day that the com­pany will no longer lobby against min­i­mum-wage in­creases at the fed­eral, state or lo­cal lev­els.

The an­nounce­ment, which was si­mul­ta­ne­ously cheered by sup­port­ers of higher pay and crit­i­cized as a public­ity stunt by some in the restau­rant in­dus­try, was in­cluded in a let­ter that a McDon­ald’s vice pres­i­dent wrote to of­fi­cials at the Na­tional Restau­rant As­so­ci­a­tion.

In the let­ter, a copy of which was ob­tained Wed­nes­day by The New York Times, the McDon­ald’s vice pres­i­dent, Genna Gent, said that the com­pany would “not use our re­sources, in­clud­ing lob­by­ists or staff, to op­pose min­i­mum wage in­creases” at any level, and that it would not “par­tic­i­pate in as­so­ci­a­tion ad­vo­cacy ef­forts de­signed ex­pressly to de­feat wage in­creases.”

South­west Air sees big hit from ground­ing of 737 Max

South­west Air­lines, the largest op­er­a­tor of Boe­ing’s 737 Max, said the model’s ground­ing amid safety con­cerns will com­bine with soft de­mand from leisure trav­el­ers to shave $150 mil­lion off first-quar­ter rev­enue.

The amount is on top of a $60 mil­lion re­duc­tion from the U.S. gov­ern­ment shut­down ear­lier in the pe­riod, South­west said Wed­nes­day. The Max ground­ings, bad weather and re­duced pro­duc­tiv­ity dur­ing con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions will to­gether force the can­cel­la­tion of 9,800 flights in the three months, it said.

The 737 Max has been grounded world­wide af­ter an Ethiopian Air­lines plane crashed on March 10, rais­ing con­cern that the disas­ter may have been caused by er­rant soft­ware that con­trib­uted to the loss of a Lion Air jet that plunged into the Java Sea in Oc­to­ber. The in­ci­dents killed a to­tal of 346 peo­ple.

U.S. still in­sists on lim­it­ing for­eign metal im­ports

WASH­ING­TON – Nearly a year af­ter im­pos­ing stiff tar­iffs on for­eign met­als, the United States is press­ing Canada and Mex­ico to agree to per­ma­nent lim­its on the amount of steel and alu­minum they ex­port to Amer­ica each year.

The de­mand, re­it­er­ated in meet­ings with Cana­dian of­fi­cials this week, has been re­jected by Canada and Mex­ico and is elic­it­ing op­po­si­tion from U.S. com­pa­nies that use for­eign steel and alu­minum in their prod­ucts.

The dis­pute is fur­ther com­pli­cat­ing ef­forts to fi­nal­ize a new North Amer­i­can free trade agree­ment, which faces a long bat­tle in Congress and must be rat­i­fied by leg­is­la­tors in all three na­tions. Canada and Mex­ico had hoped that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump would re­move the tar­iffs last year, when the three coun­tries agreed on a new trade deal known as the United States-Mex­ico-Canada Agree­ment. That did not hap­pen.

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