Category archives for: Business

Striking Fairpoint Workers Unsure How To Do Nothing On Their Own Time

striking fairpoint workersThe parking lot at FairPoint’s call center on Riverside Drive in Portland was still empty at about 10 a.m. Friday. In the coming weeks and months, who might pull into those and other parking spaces at FairPoint offices around the state is one of the biggest questions ahead for about 800 of the company’s Maine workers who went on strike at midnight Friday. Throughout the morning, union officials said they did not see replacement workers heading to any of Maine’s FairPoint offices, but the company has said it has plans in place to continue service during the strike and previously lined up temporary employees. Randall Curtis, a picket captain in Bangor for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said he’s worried about new out-of-state hires crossing the picket line, especially since “this could last a day, a week or a month.” “The company has been saying all this time that they have a trained workforce in place. But if you call customer service, you’ll see that is not the case,” Curtis said. “Some don’t even know what company they’re working for. One said, ‘Thanks for calling Fairbanks,’ instead of FairPoint.” (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

Union Negotiators Announce That All The Donuts Are Gone Already

fairpoint union negotiators mainePORTLAND, Maine — Union negotiators with the ability to call a strike of about 2,000 New England employees of FairPoint Communications are mulling their next step after being forced to work under contract conditions they don’t like. Members of two unions that represent FairPoint employees began working under the terms of the company’s last offer Thursday morning, after management declared an impasse in negotiations that allowed them to impose the most recent offer on workers. “We’ve not decided what’s going to happen,” said Peter McLaughlin, a lead negotiator for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2327. “The options are to work under the imposed agreement, we could be locked out or we could strike — those are the big three options.” McLaughlin said lead negotiators for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Communications Workers of America in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont do not have a deadline for making a decision. Members of the union authorized declaration of a strike before the contract covering about 800 Maine workers expired Aug. 2. “Nobody takes a strike lightly, but it’s not like we’re hesitant,” McLaughlin said. “We’ve been working at this for some time, and we’re not all new to this process, and we know what we need to do.” (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

Deval Patrick And Maggie Hassan Sign Historic Non-Aggression Pact, Partition Demoulas Supermarkets; Invasion Of Hannaford And Shaw’s Feared Imminent

MolotovRibbentropThe end of the Market Basket crisis could be near as Arthur T. Demoulas and the governors of both New Hampshire and Massachusetts released statements Friday expressing optimism that a deal is close. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan say they expect Market Basket will restore Arthur T. Demoulas to “operating authority” on an interim basis, pending completion of a sale in which Arthur T. would gain control of the company. Arthur T. Demoulas, who has been embroiled for years in a power struggle with rival cousin Arthur S. Demoulas’ side of the family, said Friday the final bid he submitted this week “can and should be finalized immediately.” The 71-store chain has lost tens of millions of dollars since warehouse workers walked off their jobs last month to protest the firing of Arthur T. The governors said “all parties report that they are optimistic that an agreement will be reached to sell the company to Arthur T. Demoulas and to restore him to operating authority on an interim basis until the sale closes. Subject to reducing their agreement in principle to writing by Sunday, the board will forestall taking adverse employment action against the employees who have abandoned their jobs. We are hopeful that employees will return to work, and the stores will reopen, early next week.” (read more at Seacoast Online)

Albert? Sharks Have A Week Dedicated To Him. Bigfoot Tries To Get Pictures Of Him. Albert Bowls Overhand

AlbertAlbert Greenleaf does not go lobstering. I don’t know if he ever did, even though he grew up on the western shore of Barters Island. He could go to the waters of the Sheepscot River easier than he could go to town. Albert did go to Germany in the service, though. He speaks German. If you say “guten tag” to him as he is walking to the fire station he will reply accurately and precisely in German. Maybe going to Germany had something to do with why he didn’t go lobstering. I’m not sure. Albert (I call him Bert) told me that he went to school on Barters Island, just across from where Kimballtown Road intersects West Side Road, next to the Baptist Church. He said that the year he advanced from 4th grade to 5th grade, he moved over a row in the classroom. I assume that went on until he attended school in Boothbay. (read more at the Boothbay Register)

Game Of Thrones In The Icy North Leads Blind People Through A Byzantine World Of Intrigue

Watching television. Maine news from The Rumford MeteorROCKPORT, Maine — An international window treatment company is claiming a Rockport couple concocted an elaborate scheme to bilk the firm of nearly $5 million. Hunter Douglas Inc., based in Pearl River, N.Y., filed a lawsuit June 30 in U.S. District Court in Colorado claiming that Jason T. Throne, Mary C. Throne and Patent Services Group Inc. committed fraud against the company. The attorney for Jason Throne and their company said the Thrones have yet to have the chance to reveal their side of the story. “This is a dispute between Hunter Douglas and one of its former employees and another business,” said George “Toby” Dilworth, in a statement to the BDN. “Jason Throne is not going to litigate this case in the press. However, the allegations in the civil complaint are just that – allegations. The Thrones have not had a chance to present their side of the story in court.”Jason Throne was Hunter Douglas’ senior patent lawyer for more than 20 years. The lawsuit claims that beginning in 1999, he and his wife created a company called Patent Services Group Inc. based in Rockport. Jason Throne would then have that firm bill Hunter Douglas for patent search services that were never performed, according to the lawsuit.  (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

Newly Hired Clerk At Lumberyard Pledges To Sell The Shit Out Of That Knotty Pine, I Tell You What

knotty pineFARMINGTON — Officials from the Hammond Lumber Company, Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, and the town of Wilton gathered last week to celebrate the grand opening of the newest Hammond Lumber store with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Hammond Lumber Company purchased Dexter Supply on the Wilton Road in April and several changes have been made since then. Company sales manager Fred Perkins pointed to the new counter arrangement where stools have been installed for customers’ convenience. Behind the counter, employees may either stand or sit. “We don’t want to rush the customers,” Perkins stressed. Third generation family member and vice president Mike Hammond noted that the interior has been opened up by removing some of the positional walls. (read more at The Franklin Journal)

Cate Street Capital CEO Avers That 100 Percent Of His Salary Is Spent On Shoes And Chocolate

John HallePORTLAND, Maine — Lawyers seeking to collect about $2.4 million from Cate Street Capital CEO John Halle will be allowed to question Halle’s wife, Sharon, for up to six hours about assets she may hold for her husband that could pay the legal award, according to a Superior Court order filed earlier this month. But details of questioning and other investigations into the couple’s personal finances likely will remain secret in the complex disclosure case, which won’t head to trial until at least March 2015. Both parties in the case agreed July 15 on a confidentiality agreement that will allow either party to mark as confidential certain evidence, such as bank records, as the case proceeds along a schedule set out by the court earlier this month. The confidential designation then can be challenged and the court may order disclosure of such documents during a period of discovery, which will establish the evidence to use in the case or a trial. The order allowing attorneys to question Sharon Halle comes after John Halle testified in June that he gives his paychecks directly to his wife to deposit into a TD Bank account, has no personal bank account and no financial stake in companies that Cate Street manages, including Thermogen Industries and Great Northern Paper Co. (read more at Bangor Daily News)

South Portland Votes To Ban Tar Sands Oil Unless It’s Distributed For Free In Clean Syringes

tar sands oil hippiesPORTLAND, Maine — More than a year of debate about the flow of heavy crude oil — commonly known as tar sands — through South Portland reaches its climax Monday night. The City Council is slated to take its final vote to enact an ordinance that would ban the bulk loading of crude oil — including the controversial, thicker bituminous oil — onto tanker vessels in the city’s port. During previous votes, the City Council and planning board supported the ban by 6-1 tallies. A previously proposed ordinance intended to block the bituminous oil — by restricting pier upgrades that would have been necessary to accommodate the thicker oil — lost in a close citywide vote last November. Since then, a city committee has drafted an alternative ordinance intended to essentially achieve the same goal, but by a different means. The debate has spilled far beyond the city limits, as supporters argue a ban is needed to protect Maine from what they believe are heightened environmental and safety risks associated with the bituminous oil, while opponents assert that it would place unreasonable limitations on waterfront businesses and worsen the region’s energy woes. (read more at Bangor Daily News)

Cape Elizabeth Resident Wonders If You’ve Got Anything Else She Can Be Violently Opposed To. She’s Fresh Out

Committee meeting. Maine news from the Rumford MeteorCAPE ELIZABETH — The Zoning Board of Appeals next week will decide whether to uphold a decision denying building permits for cellular phone service antennas and communications equipment on and around the Portland Water District’s decommissioned water tower on Avon Road. “They’re saying a federal law allows them to put up these antennas without regard for our zoning ordinance or a site plan review,” Code Enforcement Officer Ben McDougal said. “I determined that wasn’t the case.” Priscilla Armstrong, who can see the tower from her home, was one of several Avon Road residents to receive a letter from Verizon Wireless last September inviting her to a meeting at Town Hall. She was told Verizon had approached the Portland Water District about placing an antenna atop the 80-foot-tall, nearly 70-year-old tower, which has been dry since 2007, but still supports an antenna to monitor water pressure and sewer pumping stations. Residents were annoyed. In emails to the town in the following months, they cited aesthetic qualms, concerns over the noise of the equipment’s generators and HVAC systems, the unwelcome traffic of service vehicles on their dead-end street, and an overall negative impact on the neighborhood’s quality of life. (read more at The Forecaster)

Maine Organic Milk Company to Close After Their ‘Bring A Pail To The Market And We’ll Give You Some’ Distribution Method Falls Flat

Maine dairy farm Maine news from The Rumford MeteorDespite millions of investment dollars and rapidly increasing sales, Maine’s Own Organic Milk, known as MOO Milk, has ceased production and no longer will sell milk directly to consumers, the company’s top executive said Friday. The decision, which is likely to put a dozen Maine dairy farms in jeopardy, highlights the challenges to the long-term viability of local food producers, said representatives of Maine’s food industry. MOO Milk CEO Bill Eldridge said the Falmouth-based company is shutting down because of problems with its packaging equipment, which pours the organic milk into cartons. “It’s been very, very dicey from the beginning. It started to get worse this year,” Eldridge said. “We were just starting to get poor (packaging) quality coming out.” The company explored the option of building a new packaging plant but decided against it because the construction timeline would have kept MOO Milk off store shelves for as long as 18 months, he said.

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