Nathan's Feed
Apr 30, 2015

Abe, seeking new spark for Japan high-tech, heads to Silicon Valley

WASHINGTON/TOKYO (Reuters) – In the 1980s when Sony and Toshiba were setting the agenda in the global TV and memory chip markets Japan was bristling with confidence as a hub of technological innovation.

Three decades later, with Japan’s electronics industry in decline, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is heading to Silicon Valley – the first sitting Japanese leader to do so – in the hopes of rekindling that innovative spark.

Apr 29, 2015

Abe voices ‘repentance’ on WW2, touts Japan’s new security role

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday expressed “deep repentance” over Japan’s role in World War Two, even as he declared Tokyo’s emergence as a global security player in the face of China’s rising power in Asia.

Using the high-profile platform of a landmark speech to the U.S. Congress, Abe insisted that Japan must not avert its eyes from the suffering of Asian peoples from its wartime behavior but he stopped short of issuing his own apology, instead upholding statements by his predecessors.

Apr 28, 2015

Obama accuses China of flexing muscle in disputes with neighbors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama accused China on Tuesday of “flexing its muscles” to advance its maritime claims against Asian neighbors and assured Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of the U.S. commitment to defend Japanese territory, including tiny islands in dispute with Beijing.

Speaking at a joint news conference in the White House Rose Garden, Obama said a strong U.S.-Japan alliance should not be seen as a provocation to China, but he sought to put to rest any Japanese doubts on whether Washington would stand by Tokyo in a possible confrontation with Beijing.

Apr 28, 2015

U.S. POW wants Japan leader to accept responsibility for wartime past

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lester Tenney, a 94-year-old American survivor of the 1942 Bataan Death March, said he hoped to deliver a simple message about wartime responsibility to Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe if the two meet in Washington this week.

That could happen on Wednesday night. Tenney is among about 200 people invited to a gala dinner hosted by the visiting Japanese leader.

Apr 20, 2015

Union seeks labor board injunction over Wal-Mart store closings

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – A union working on behalf of Wal-Mart employees laid off in the sudden temporary closure of five stores filed a claim on Monday to the National Labor Relations Board accusing the retailer of retaliating against workers for organizing activity and seeking to get them rehired.

Wal-Mart Stores, which announced last week that it was temporarily closing five stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and California to fix plumbing issues, denied the union’s claims. It said it would work to reopen the stores, which employed about 2,200 people, as quickly as possible.

Apr 18, 2015

Workers claim Wal-Mart closed California store in retaliation

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Some employees accused Wal-Mart Stores Inc
on Friday of closing a location in the Los Angeles area
for six months in retaliation for workers demanding for better
wages and benefits.

The largest U.S. retailer denied the accusation, saying it
was temporarily closing five stores in four states to address
recurring plumbing problems. The closures include a location in
Pico Rivera, California, that has been a center of protests by
workers in recent years.

Apr 17, 2015

Wal-Mart shuffles U.S. store management to improve sales

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Friday it would eliminate the position of zone manager in its U.S. stores while adding up to 8,000 new department heads as part of an overhaul of its store operations.

There are about five zone managers in each of Wal-Mart’s 3,407 supercenters, and those employees will be reassigned to department manager or assistant manager positions, spokesman Kory Lundberg said.

Apr 15, 2015

Insight – Union spends big on low-wage campaign, endgame unclear

By Nathan Layne and Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – Tens of millions of dollars and counting. That’s how much the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has spent so far on a three-year campaign to improve the plight of low-wage retail and fast-food workers, an analysis of public filings shows.

    The money, which has gone to labour groups, lawyers and others involved in the effort, has provided financial firepower for a movement that has made surprising progress in its push for lifting wages, successfully making the issue part of the public conversation.

Apr 15, 2015

Union spends big on low-wage campaign, endgame unclear

April 15 (Reuters) – Tens of millions of dollars and
counting. That’s how much the Service Employees International
Union (SEIU) has spent so far on a three-year campaign to
improve the plight of low-wage retail and fast-food workers, an
analysis of public filings shows.

The money, which has gone to labor groups, lawyers and
others involved in the effort, has provided financial firepower
for a movement that has made surprising progress in its push for
lifting wages, successfully making the issue part of the public
conversation.

Apr 2, 2015

Analysis – Wal-Mart support of gay rights turns on business

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) has emerged as an unlikely voice for gay rights after the Arkansas state governor heeded his call on Wednesday to reject a much-criticized bill.

But the decision by Doug McMillon to speak out against the “religious freedom” bill reflects more than a decade of evolving policy by the retailer on the issue of gay and lesbian rights, and follows a pattern of taking stands on some social issues when it makes business sense to do so.