Must Read Money Stories for Monday, Aug. 8

by August 8, 2016

Southwest, unions feud.

Contentious contract negotiations between Dallas-based Southwest Airlines and four of its largest employee-unions have been boiling over into a public feud in recent days. Southwest officials sent a letter to the unions on Friday saying they had “no intention” of ousting the company’s CEO and chief operating officer as the labor groups were demanding days prior, according to Bloomberg. The unions representing flight attendants, pilots and mechanics have been up in arms over last month’s system-wide computer crash that canceled and delayed flights for days, which they suggest was the result of neglect of an aging computer system by the airline.

July posts strong jobs.

The U.S. labor market outpaced analysts’ expectations for July, posting a robust 255,000 job gain for the month that helped hold the unemployment rate steady at 4.9 percent, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday following the Labor Department’s monthly employment report. The July data comes on the heels of June’s 292,000-gain, one of the strongest monthly boosts in a few years. Some economists are also now confident that the steep hiring slowdown in May—when the economy saw a mere 24,000 new jobs, the worst in five years partly due to a Verizon employee-strike—was a fluke.

Gawker, Hulk talk settlement.

Unnamed sources told the Wall Street Journal that Gawker Media Group and Hulk Hogan are in preliminary talks of reaching some kind of settlement arraignment before heading into next week’s court auction of the gossip media site. A settlement wouldn’t stop the auction itself from moving forward, the WSJ writes. Instead, it could allow Hogan to cash-in early while potentially giving Gawker and its departing founder Nick Denton some cash themselves upon conclusion of the ordeal, regardless of whether the sale falls through. The settlement rumors stem from Hogan’s $140 million-judgement he won in March over a sex tape posted by Gawker, which was subsequently pushed into bankruptcy following the ruling.

12-year low at the pump.

AAA announced that gas prices nationwide just slipped to their lowest mark in 12 years, posting an average $2.12 per gallon over the weekend, the Miami Herald reported on Sunday. That’s also $1.36 lower two years ago, and AAA officials say these low prices at the pump may continue steadily through year-end should some current key factors—higher gasoline prices and low oil prices—persist. But that’s just the nationwide average. On the lowest end of the price-spectrum is Florida’s $2.05 per gallon, while California’s $2.69 average reigns as most expensive in the nation, as this CBS News article notes.