July 12! Amazon sets second 24-hour Prime Day; two Conn. groups push against Humana-Aetna; and the Internet gorges on story about ‘world’s angriest’ Taco Bell customer

A news summary, focused on 10 big employers; updated 10:04 a.m.

AMAZON said this year’s 24-hour Prime Day sale would include more than 100,000 specially discounted items. U.S. members can shop starting at 3 a.m. ET/midnight PT, with new deals as often as every five minutes (press release). Last year, in addition to a 266% increase in orders vs. the same day in 2014, Prime Day also spurred more people than ever to try the $99-a-year Prime service. It also drove more sales than any of the retailer’s previous events — even beating Amazon’s 2014 Black Friday (The Verge). Apparently responding to complaints last year that some items sold out too quickly, Amazon said this year it would “dramatically” boost inventory and make it easier to search for deals by sorting through categories (Cnet).

Amazon employs 6,000 workers in the Louisville area at mammoth distribution centers in Jeffersonville, and in Bullitt County’s Shepherdsville. Plus, another big Prime Day is good news for the retailer’s shipper, UPS; with 22,000 workers at its Louisville International Airport hub, it’s the city’s single-biggest private employer.

HUMANA: Two Connecticut activist groups and the state’s medical society have criticized regulatory reviews of the proposed $37 billion Humana-Aetna merger in a letter this week to the U.S. Justice Department; they’re asking the trust-busters “to protect people from the harm these mergers will cause.” Aetna is based in Hartford. The groups, which also criticized a similar planned merger between Anthem and Connecticut-based Cigna, were joined by 40 other state doctors’ associations and health-care charities nationwide (Hartford Courant). Humana employs 12,500 workers at its downtown Louisville headquarters and other sites across the city.

UPS and the 2,500-member Independent Pilots Association  today announced a tentative agreement on a new five-year labor contract, including improvements across all sections. Specific details of the agreement will not be disclosed before the IPA presents the proposed contract to all UPS pilots (press release).

Also, a looming pilot shortage will soar to 15,000 by 2026, according to a study by the University of North Dakota’s Aviation Department, as more captains reach mandatory retirement age of 65, and fewer young people choose aviation as a profession. “And that’s in an industry,” says the Dallas Morning News, “where captains on the biggest international jets average more than $200,000 a year — with some pushing $300,000” (Morning News).

FORD‘s decision to bypass an employee for a position based on his use of opioids was not enough to prove his disability discrimination claim, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has found (National Law Review). The automaker employs nearly 10,000 workers at its auto and truck factories in Louisville.

PIZZA HUT: In New Orleans, police arrested a man and woman early yesterday who allegedly carjacked a Pizza Hunt deliverer’s car at gunpoint Tuesday night, then led cops on a car chase before they were apprehended. The driver told officers he was making a delivery about 11:30 p.m. when a woman who said she placed the order — Simonne Walker, 19 — approached him. But instead of paying him, the woman’s companion — Kenneth Rainer, 20 — walked up, put a gun to the driver’s back, and demanded cash and his car keys. Walker and Rainer then got into the car and sped off, the cops say (Times-Picayune).

ChambordBROWN-FORMAN is promoting its Chambord black raspberry liqueur through a “Just Add Chambord” Royale cocktails campaign starting tomorrow. The campaign targeting hotel bars and lounges runs through Sept. 30. The Louisville spirits giant will supply participating establishments with Chambord-branded flute glasses, recipe and tent cards. Nidal Ramini, marketing chief for Bacardi Brown-Forman brands said (in a very odd quote): “We are confident the new platform will inspire the on-trade in particular, to transform and elevate serves, whilst helping them understand how Chambord can be the perfect way to elevate a simple glass of bubbles, and ultimately increase profit” (Harpers). Here’s the Royale recipe.

PAPA JOHN’S fired an employee at a Louisville restaurant who apparently wrote a racist name, “Ching Ching,” on an Asian customer’s order  (KWWL). The order — circled, in the photo, below— was attached to the pizza box:

Papa John's box


Starting Monday, the controversy spread across Twitter when a friend of the customer posted this . . .

. . . which led to a reply from the company . . .

. . . and then this:

TACO BELL: The Internet can’t get enough of that story about the Milwaukee man who allegedly shot up a Taco Bell early Monday over some missing sour cream (Grub HubEater, and everyone else).

In other news, the 10 big employers in Boulevard’s Stock Portfolio were mixed this morning during the first half hour of trading (Google Finance).

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