business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The U.S. Department of Labor said yesterday that its regional solicitor’s office in Boston has filed a complaint against DeMoulas Super Markets Inc., asking the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission to force the chain to comply with “safety standards designed to protect employees from fall and laceration hazards.” According to the announcement, “This request for enterprisewide relief is based upon hazards OSHA found during inspections of various DeMoulas stores, including the agency’s most recent inspections at Market Basket stores in Rindge and Concord, N.H. Those inspections resulted in citations and proposed OSHA fines totaling $589,200, which DeMoulas has contested to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.”

• The Chicago Tribune reports that Wendy’s is beginning to test a “Black Label Burger” concept that would be designed to appeal to high-end tastes.

According to the story, “The Bacon Portabella and Spicy Santa Fe burgers are ‘in the very early stages,” said Wendy’s spokesman Denny Lynch ... the sandwiches cost just under $5 each and feature ingredients such as mushroom sauce, Muenster cheese, guacamole and more.”

Bloomberg reports that there is considerable speculation that hedge fund manager Edward Lampert, who owns 60 percent of Sears Holdings and is facing declining sales at both his Sears and Kmart chains, could take the company private.

The speculation has led to a rising share price for Sears. Analysts say that the needed restructuring at the company can be more easily achieved if it is privately owned.

• The Academy of Food Marketing at Saint Joseph's University and the Food Marketing Educational Foundation announced that they will honor Weis Markets - currently celebrating its 100th year in business - at their 44th annual citation award dinner.

“It is our great pleasure to recognize Weis Markets with the 44th annual citation award,” said Bob Higgins, executive director of the Academy of Food Marketing. “Not only is Weis Markets a leader in food retailing and distribution, the organization is also a model for corporate citizenship with its support of many philanthropic and charitable causes.”
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