Ups and Downs Featured

9:52am EDT July 22, 2002

Ups to Ohio legislators. They finally bit the bullet and passed electricity deregulation. Consumers will be able to choose their power supplier by 2001. The move leaves just one unanswered question: Who’s going to pay for those stranded nukes? Unfortunately, it’s the same question that’s been around since Day One.

Downs to Hechinger Co. After promising former Builders Square employees severance pay for sticking it out to the bitter end, Hechinger filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and shut the workers out. It’s a serious blow for other employers who ask workers to show loyalty during tough financial times.

Ups to doctor unions. It’s about time the other side of the health care industry started flexing its collective muscles and demanded a larger voice in managing health care costs. Could this be yet another shift in the ever-moving insurance pendulum?

Downs to J.C. Penney. Sure, it pulled the offensive AND1 T-shirts from its shelves after complaints that the T-shirts’ messages were demeaning to women. But that’s not the point. We want to know what marketing genius advised the department store to put them on the shelves in the first place.

Ups to LTV Steel. Its decision to remain neutral while the United Steelworkers of America tries to unionize the Trico steel mill in Alabama goes a long way in assuaging the long-running battle between LTV management and its workers. Now if only the company’s stock price would start rising again, too.

Ups to Invacare. The Elyria health care product manufacturer is at it again, trying to buy Danish rival Scandinavian Mobility International A/S. You have to admire A. Malachi Mixon’s straight-forward business philosophy: If you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em!