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HBSDealer Stock Watch: More Bulls than Bears

BY HBSDealer Staff

The S&P 500, Dow 30 and Nasdaq all gained more than 1% during trading Monday, beginning the week on a good note. Among the industry gainers were BXC, up 3.3%; LPX, up 3.6%; and SWK, up 2.5%. On the list below, gainers beat decliners 21-9.

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News

Sellick Equipment opens new 126,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility

BY HBSDealer Staff

Sellick Equipment Limited has cut the ribbon on a new $21 million manufacturing facility in Harrow, Ontario, Canada.

The forklift manufacturer’s state-of-the-art, 126,000 square-foot factory has been designed for new product innovation, improvement to quality control, and flexibility in product design, the company said.

To ensure higher quality standards, all areas of the manufacturing process were upgraded including a new machining center consisting of computer controlled laser cutting, milling, and turning machines along with automated storage and retrieval systems for raw materials and aftermarket parts. The factory also includes the latest in metal preparation and paint line to enhance product longevity.

 “Our long term plan is to increase the business through new product,” said company president Howard Sellick. “The skies the limit on what we can produce in this new facility.”

Nearing its 50th year in business, Sellick Equipment Limited continues to produce a wide variety of rough terrain forklifts; each custom built to meet the customer’s application and supported by a dedicated dealer network throughout North America.

Sellick Equipment Limited is subsidiary of Avis Industrial Corporation of Upland, Ind.

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Regulatory Wrap-Up
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Regulatory Wrap-Up: Paid leave at the federal and state level

BY HBSDealer Staff

Wages

Hawaii: A senate committee advanced a bill that would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020 and would also repeal the tip credit.

Maryland: A bill to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026 contains a provision that would mandate that franchised establishments comply by 2022, four years earlier than other businesses. It is unclear at this stage if the measure has enough support to override a likely veto from Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

New Mexico: A senate committee passed a bill that would increase the state’s wage level to $9 per hour in 2018. The bill would also establish an $8 per hour training wage and raise the tipped wage to $2.63 per hour. Action now moves on to the house. For context, the Democratic-controlled legislature advanced minimum wage increase bills to the Republican governor’s desk last cycle and all the bills were vetoed.

Pennsylvania: Gov. Tom Wolf has included a statewide minimum wage increase in his annual budget proposal. Last cycle, the Republican legislature declined to advance wage increase legislation to the governor’s desk despite his repeated endorsement. A similar scenario is likely to play out again this year.

Vermont: A senate committee voted to advance a bill that would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024. The full senate is likely to act soon and if the vote is successful, the bill would move to the house. However, Governor Scott has publicly stated his opposition to the bill, citing the negative impact on small businesses.

Washington: The advocacy group Working Washington has requested that the state’s labor department issue rules that prevent businesses from adding minimum wage surcharges to customers’ bills. Surcharges have become a popular practice in some areas of the country.

Study: A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research earned headlines this week. It reviewed minimum wage increases in 137 jurisdictions and found that “on average, minimum-wage increases eliminated jobs paying below the new minimum, but added jobs paying at or above the new minimum.”


Paid Leave

Federal: Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is leading an effort to produce parental leave legislation that would allow workers to utilize Social Security benefits while caring for a newborn. Under this concept, the worker’s Social Security payments would be delayed at their retirement age commensurate to the amount of leave utilized. As of yet, no legislation has been introduced.

Maine: Lawmakers previously supporting legislation to establish an employee-funded paid family leave program amended their bill and are now calling for an actuarial study to determine the cost and feasibility of the proposed program.

New Hampshire: A bill allowing workers up to six weeks of paid family and medical leave narrowly passed a second reading in the house despite opposition from some in Republican leadership. The bill was amended to offer six weeks of paid leave, down from twelve in the original text. The bill will be debated by an additional committee before the house has a third and final vote. If passed, the bill would move to the senate. Governor Sununu supported family medical leave during his campaign but has yet to weigh in on the specifics of this legislation.

Washington: Several U.S.-based airlines are suing the state seeking a ruling that federal regulations preempt the sick leave law that went into effect last year. The case cites complexity resulting from a patchwork of state and local laws governing sick leave accrual and other related policies. While the case may have limited impact on brick-and-mortar operations in the state, it could have ramifications on state-by-state leave policies.

Lowe’s: The home improvement retailer announced a new paid leave policy for full-time employees allowing for up to 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and two weeks of paid family leave.

CVS: In addition to increasing their starting hourly wage to $11 per hour, the company also announced a paid leave policy for all full-time employees allowing for up to four weeks paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child.


Scheduling

Missouri: A preemption bill that prohibits localities from enacting employee scheduling laws passed a house committee this week. It is unclear how much support the provision has in the senate following a bruising preemption battle on wage and leave policies during the last session.

Mississippi: Legislation that preempts localities from enacting leave, scheduling and other benefit laws passed both the house and senate. Final passage and enactment is highly likely.


Labor Activism

Fight for $15: Fight for $15 will hold protests Feb. 12 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the famous Memphis sanitation workers’ strike. While protests were initially announced in the Southeast, Operators should be prepared for protests in other major metropolitan areas. QSRs are the initial targets but other restaurants and retail locations could also experience disruptions as well.


Taxes

California: Advocates have announced a campaign to place an initiative on the Nov. ballot that would exempt commercial property from Proposition 13 — a 40-year-old law that limits state property tax increases for both commercial and residential property. If the initiative were to pass, the state legislature would be free to increase commercial property taxes while maintaining the current limits on residential property taxes.


Key Takeaways

  • The parental leave conversation took an important step this week with Republican Senator Marco Rubio indicating that he may propose legislation that would allow workers to draw paid leave from their Social Security accounts at any time. Retirement benefits would be delayed for the period of time that workers utilize the benefit earlier in life. Regardless of whether such a proposal eventually becomes law, it broadens the concept of a government benefit pool – beyond Social Security – that workers can pay into and utilize. This increased flexibility is a de facto step down the road to portable benefits.
  • A new international study released this week reports that the infant mortality rate in the United States remains the highest within developed nations and the gap appears to be growing. There are many factors contributing to these statistics including insurance coverage and access to pre- and post-natal care, but many health policy advocates also cited economic pressures disproportionately borne by women including lower wage jobs, lack of paid leave and lack of certainty in work schedules. While we continue to see an intentional merging of the social and economic justice narratives by the activist community, the integration of women’s health issues into this conversation opens a new front and could lead to additional reputational challenges for operators and merchants.

Legislature Status for Week of 2/12/18

  • The United States Senate is in session this week
  • The United States House is in session this week
  • Forty-four state legislatures are meeting actively this week: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming. 

Podcast

Check out our Working Lunch podcast each week that includes further analysis into these legislative issues, policy, politics and much more. You can find Working Lunch on the Nation's Restaurant News website, or by clicking here, and when you download the podcast and subscribe on iTunes here.


The Regulatory Wrap-Up is presented by Align Public Strategies. Click here to learn how Align can provide your brand with the counsel and insight you need to navigate the policy and political issues impacting retail.

 

 

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