McDonald’s will not fight minimum wage hikes
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.