1) GE (General Electric) announced they will freeze pensions for about 20,000 salaried U.S. employees in order to help the ailing conglomerate cut debt and reduce its retirement fund by $8 billion dollars. Presently, the company has $105.8 billion dollar debt. Their pension plans are among it biggest liabilities and is underfunded by about $27 billion dollars. This move will not effect present retirees who are collecting their pensions.
2) Twenty-one days into the strike, the UAW (United Auto Workers) and GM (General Motors) contract talks have taken a turn for the worse. The snag is product commitments for U.S. factories for new vehicles, engines, transmissions and other items represented by the union. GM is losing $80 million dollars a day, while striking workers are earning about one fifth their regular pay as $260 a month strike benefits.
3) The U.S. railroads slump is getting worse from the slowdown as manufacturing threatens U.S. economy. Trucking is also feeling a slowdown with less than truckload cargos decreasing, although long haul trucking seems to be holding up. Truck rates have dropped, which is pulling some freight business away from trains.
4) Stock market closings for – 7 OCT 19:
Dow 26,478.02 down 95.70 Nasdaq 7,956.29 down 26.18 S&P 500 2,938.79 down 13.22
1) The American trucking industry is in trouble with many major trucking firms such as J.B. Hunt, Knight-Swift and Schneider cutting their annual outlooks. In a growing wave of trucking firms bankruptcies, 3,000 truck drivers have lost their jobs. One positive point is the trucking volume seems to be rising, although trucking is a highly cyclic business with wide swings in high and low peaks. With about 1.8 million American truckers, there is the rising threat of automated robot trucks, which the automatic driving technology industry is eyeing and experimenting already with UPS and the post office.
2) More troubles for Tesla’s SolarCity solar-panels and fires with people’s houses being set on fire resulting in extensive damage. Both Walmart and Amazon.com are suing, claiming Tesla’s solar energy systems have caused fires at their stores and warehouses. Tesla is telling home owners their need to do preventive maintenance on their solar power systems, but with 400,000 solar customers, one of the largest customer bases in America, this may not be a strategy to avoid law suits.
3) Disney’s Disney+ is penetrating NetFlix market share with very aggressive pricing and promotion programs that undercuts NetFlix rates, offering with rates that are as much as one third of NetFlix, while locking customers into contracts for as long as three year. When Disney+ announced its entry into the streaming market, Netflix grew its customer base by 2.7 million, instead of the 5 million that had been forecast. The increased competition from Disney+ and other streaming services is forcing NetFlix to use large amounts of capital to create new video content and so remain a viable competitor.
4) Stock market closings for – 29 AUG 19:
Dow 26,362.25 up 326.15 Nasdaq 7,973.39 up 116.51 S&P 500 2,924.58 up 36.64
Walmart will be hiring close to 1,000 new truck drivers in 2019. The truckers who are seasoned throughout the year, being apart of the Walmart trucking program. Walmart drivers (whom have senority) will be attaining an increase in base salary to $90,000.
In 2018 Walmart hired 1,400 truck drivers, to stream line their trucking business. Their truck driver turnover is one of the lowest in the industry and Walmart has indicated they want it to stay that way. To increase the recruits of truck drivers, Walmart has upped the ante by improving base salary, vacation days, and onboarding systems to assist their drivers better on the job,
Truck drivers shortages seems to be the main concern in 2019, data by the American Trade Association (ATA) indicates truck drivers for the past 20 years have been hovering around the 3 million to the 3.5 million drivers mark in the USA. There has been a short fall of drivers, even though freight volume has will be increasing to over 35%, within the next decade. -SB