The Friday Report Blog: June 30th, 2023

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

Dick’s Sporting Goods Bans Forever Chemicals in Clothing

Dick’s Sporting Goods has banned PFAS (poly-fluoroalkyl substances), known as “forever chemicals,” from its own brand textile products, adding them to its restricted substance list. The move is part of a broader trend to limit the use of these chemicals, which are often found in stain-resistant, water-repellent, and grease-proofing products, but don’t break down in the environment and have been linked to various health issues.

The restriction only applies to the presence of such chemicals in finished products, not their use during manufacturing. The company’s decision aligns with recent state laws and practices adopted by other retailers, like REI, restricting the use of PFAS.

Last year, a study by Toxic-Free Future found PFAS in 72% of stain- or water-resistant items sold at Dick’s and other retailers. The company’s new guidelines apply nationwide, despite only referencing compliance with California law.

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Teamsters and UPS Continue New National Contract Negotiations

UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are engaged in contract negotiations affecting roughly 330,000 UPS employees. The two parties have agreed on 55 tentative agreements, but wages and benefits remain contentious issues. The union demands significant wage increases across all employee classifications, while UPS’s counterproposal, termed “appalling” by the union, includes minor raises and overall cuts to cost-of-living adjustments.

If an agreement is not reached by July 31, when the current national contract expires, the Teamsters have threatened to strike, potentially causing significant disruption to UPS’s network.

Non-economic agreements reached include letting company drivers handle more SurePost deliveries, allowing Teamsters more influence over technological changes, and installing air conditioning in new UPS vehicles from 2024. Both sides must now negotiate the financial elements of the contract.

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IBM To Acquire SAAS Provider Apptio

IBM has announced its intent to acquire the software-as-a-service business, Apptio, for $4.6 billion in cash. Apptio, purchased from Vista Equity Partners, specializes in technology spend management, helping firms understand and manage their cloud service spending.

IBM expects this acquisition to enhance its Red Hat business, AI portfolio, and consulting business and plans to fund the transaction with cash on hand, aiming to close the deal in the second half of 2023. IBM, during a strategic shift towards AI and cloud-based solutions, sees this acquisition as an opportunity to further bolster its capabilities.

Apptio, which went private in 2019 after a $2 billion deal with Vista Equity Partners, has over 1,500 customers, partnerships with Amazon’s AWS and Salesforce, and has seen steady revenue growth, reaching $233 million in 2018.

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