A labor union's local pension fund is teaming up with a peer out of Cincinnati to take on investing titan BlackRock, which they say has structured its iShares family of exchange-traded funds with excessive fees. At the heart of their lawsuit is the amount of money BlackRock executives have taken from the funds' securities lending revenues. But BlackRock says it will defend itself.
The company's securities-lending program has delivered above-average returns to its ETF shareholders over time, BlackRock spokeswoman Caroline Hancock said in an email. "To achieve this, we run the program ourselves while bearing all the costs, rather than outsourcing to third parties as others do," she added.
So the National Hockey League's owners and players have come to terms on a new 10-year labor agreement. Many details still need to be worked out, but Dirk Hoag writes that it looks like the Predators' relationship with revenue sharing could change. Meanwhile, ESPN's Scott Burnside laments that it took so long to find an agreement on what was supposed to be a "tweak and a fix" and worries about some of the corporate support that has left for other sports properties.
Never mind the rest of this season in terms of generating new ad money or sponsorships, most businesses have already moved into commitments for later in their fiscal years, which would coincide with the start of the 2013-14 NHL season.
McDonald's (in the United States) was supposed to be a key NHL sponsor with an ad campaign tied to the Winter Classic, All-Star Game and other high-profile events, but it moved on and signed a two-year deal with the NFL after the lockout started.
SEE ALSO: Cool moves, a look at the NHL's CBA dynamic from our April 2012 magazine
Two quick hits from the world of HCA: First, the company faces a one-day strike next week by members of National Nurses United at two of its California hospitals. At issue are some staffing concerns as well as HCA's plans to phase out some benefits, but things could be worse: NNU members plan to walk off the job at eight Sutter Health hospitals.
Clear on the other side of the country, the president of HCA's West Florida division this week said the company plans to add hundreds of residency positions at its hospitals in the Tampa area in the coming years. Peter Marmerstein also told the Tampa Bay Times the company plans to expand its residency programs in Orlando as well.
More than 22,000 Communications Workers of America members who work for the wireline division of AT&T around the Southeast remain without a new contract after they failed to ratify a three-year contract proposal that had been worked out by representatives of the two sides. The company says it will continue to work on a new deal.
The NHL's lockout is now well into its first week and at least two franchises — Florida and Ottawa — have announced staff cuts to offset the loss in revenue if actual games are canceled.
Multiple sources told NashvillePost.com that employees at Bridgestone Arena — including those employed by the team, as well as its arena management arm, Powers — were told in a staff meeting that the work stoppage would not result in layoffs here.
That information was confirmed by Predators President and COO Sean Henry.
During the lost season of 2004-05, the Predators had massive layoffs. Only two NHL teams weathered that work stoppage without layoffs: the Tampa Bay Lightning — where Henry was COO — and the Dallas Stars — where CEO Jeff Cogen was president.
The United Steelworkers members at Noranda Aluminum's big plant in Southeast Missouri on Friday ratified a new five-year contract. Chairman and CEO Kip Smith says the deal "achieves Noranda’s goals of rewarding employees for their hard work, making the plant a safer place, and accomplishing changes that are needed for Noranda to be sustainable for the future."
Officials at Noranda Aluminum and the United Steelworkers on Friday agreed to extend by a week their collective bargaining contract. About 800 Noranda employees in Southeast Missouri will vote Friday on a new deal covering their work at the Franklin-based company's massive New Madrid complex. Next up for Noranda execs on the labor front are expiring contracts covering workers in North Carolina (November) and Jamaica (December). For details, click here and search for "labor."
Officials at AT&T and the Communications Workers of America have agreed to extend through Thursday night the deadline to agree to a new contract for more than 20,000 wireline division employees in nine states. The parties' previous contract expired over the weekend.