Toro acquires assets of Stone Construction Equipment
Bloomington, Minn.-based Toro has acquired light construction and hardscape product assets of Stone Construction Equipment, which manufactured concrete and hardscape equipment for rental and construction companies. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
This acquisition builds on the company’s position in the rental market with a line of branded products in the hardscape space, including concrete and mortar mixers, material handlers, compaction equipment, and other concrete power tools. These products extend Toro’s offering to contractors and rental companies, and complement its recent acquisitions of tree care and turf renovation product lines.
“Stone built a solid reputation around quality,” said Rick Rodier, general manager of Toro’s Sitework Systems Business. “These products are respected by rental and construction customers, and complement our current line of compact utility equipment and trenchers extremely well. We see great opportunity to leverage our core strengths in innovation, engineering and distribution to grow share in these new categories.”
Simpson reports Q1 sales increase
Simpson Manufacturing has reported income, net of tax, of $7.2 million for the first quarter of 2012 compared with income of $7.1 million in the first quarter of 2011.
Net sales for the quarter increased 19.8% to $158.7 million compared with net sales of $132.5 million in the year-ago period.
Sales increased in the quarter throughout North America due in part to a mild winter and, in Europe, as a result of the recent European acquisition. Sales increases were above average in all U.S. regions, except California, compared with the first quarter of 2011.
Sales to all distribution channels increased, with above-average increases in sales to contractor distributors and lumber dealers.
Lunch breaks and the modern workplace
The following letter was a response to an article about a California legal ruling that found employers have to provide lunch breaks for employees but do not have to make sure employees take them.
“I had an employee who always came in early and would immediately start work. After we got a time clock she would swipe her card downstairs and go upstairs to her office. She was never paid overtime and never expected it.
“On the other hand, another employee was consistently asked to take his lunch and he continually worked through his lunch voluntarily saying he just loved working. He had a conflict with his supervisor and we parted ways. He demanded to be paid over time for all of the lunches that amounted to approximately $3,000.00 in overtime we had to pay him. From that point on the other employee had to come back down stairs and clock in at her appropriate starting time. The company had to send out a memo demanding that all employees clock in and out at the correct times and take their lunches and breaks or be subject to discipline. A prime example of one employee creating a hostile environment.”
— Name withheld