AUTOS

2019 Cruze rolling off the line

The 2019 Chevrolet Cruze is now rolling off the assembly lines at the General Motors Lordstown plant, the Youngstown Vindicator reported.

Production of the new Cruze began earlier this week, United Auto Workers Local 1112 President Dave Green said.

He said members are excited to be building a new car and hope prospective buyers take the new Cruze out for a test drive.

Chevrolet announced the 2019 Cruze in April, saying that it would have a “premium appearance that enhances its on-road presence and strengthens its value for customers.”

RETAIL

J.C. Penney starts baby shops

J.C. Penney will start opening baby shops within 500 stores Aug. 31, looking to absorb some of the customers from recently closed Babies ‘R’ Us.

The department store already sells cribs, high chairs, strollers, car seats and other baby supplies online, but the items will make their brick-and-mortar debut with the new shops.

JCPenney stores already sell baby apparel.

“The baby care business is expected to reach over $13 billion by 2021 and we are seizing this opportunity to pursue available market share and aggressively go after the baby customer with these new shops,” said James Starke, senior vice president and head of merchandising for JCPenney.

In addition to large items and clothing, the baby shops will sell pacifiers, diaper bags, bottles and bouncer seats from brands like Avent, Graco, Fisher Price and Halo.

RAILROADS

Apology issued for bait truck

Norfolk Southern Railroad has apologized for using a bait truck loaded with shoes to lure potential thieves on Chicago’s South Side, and prosecutors have dropped charges against three people arrested during the sting.

Norfolk Southern issued a statement Friday saying it recognized the recent operation “eroded trust between law enforcement and the community” and says it doesn’t plan to use this method in the future.

Civil rights activists and local aldermen criticized the operation . Residents of the Englewood neighborhood filmed police arresting a man and accused officers of trying to entrap poor residents with the truck. Residents featured in the video, which went viral, said the truck was stocked with Nikes.

MERGERS

Cigna plan receives boost

Cigna’s plan to buy pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts for around $52 billion has received a big endorsement a few days after activist investor Carl Icahn urged shareholders to reject it.

The proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services said Friday that stock owners should vote for the deal later this month, calling it financially compelling.

Large institutional shareholders rely on ISS and similar firms to help them decide how to vote on certain company proposals.

Icahn had warned shareholders in an open letter that Cigna Corp. was paying too much for a company with a shaky future.

Pharmacy benefit managers like Express Scripts Holding Co. run prescription drug coverage for big employers and insurers, among other clients. They’ve become a focal point for criticism and regulatory scrutiny as drug prices rise.

WORKPLACE

4 women file suit against Nike

Four women who used to work for Nike have filed a federal lawsuit against the company, alleging it violated state and U.S. equal-pay laws and fostered a work environment that allowed sexual harassment.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported the suit filed Thursday in Portland is among the first to hit the company following complaints about alleged pay disparities and bad managers public earlier this year.

Nike responded by ousting at least 11 executives in March and April.

Attorney Laura Salerno Owens said Nike continues to have a “good-old-boy’s culture” in which women enter the company with lower pay, and receive smaller raises and bonuses.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.