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Staff photo by Tim Barber/ Freightwaves CEO Craig Fuller stands in Freight Alley, the downstairs portion of the 405 Chestnut St. headquarters.

FreightWaves is raising its minimum wage to $50,000 per year for all full-time employees in November.

Craig Fuller, founder and CEO of the Chattanooga-based transportation and logistics data and news service, told the 144 full-time employees of Freightwaves about the new pay plans in a message broadcast to the company's global workforce on Friday.

"At times we've not been as focused on what we're doing for the community as much as we should be," Fuller said. "But you can do well while doing good, and I think we have a responsibility to make sure that the folks who work in this business have the opportunity to do well and do good."

Fuller also announced that the company will audit its payroll on a per-employee basis to ensure that the FreightWaves pays men and women equally for doing the same work.

"Starting today, we are going to create an equal pay, equal work program, which means all employees, male or female, should be making the same salaries if they are in the same role," said Fuller.

FreightWaves, like much of the freight industry, has not always done enough to promote equality across its business as it focused on growth and customer success, Fuller said. As an industry, fewer than 20 percent of freight jobs are filled by women, he added.

"When we started out, it was seven dudes and my wife," Fuller said. "But we have a responsibility to do better, and this is a commitment to do that."

Freightwaves, which began in 2016, has raised $40 million in venture capital and has pledged to create up to 260 jobs in Hamilton County.

 

Walmart in Dayton, Tennessee, adds pickup tower

The Walmart supercenter in Dayton, Tenn., has added the Walmart Pickup Tower and online grocery pickup service to provide a new option for speedy in-store pickup of online orders of general merchandise.

The new service, which Walmart first brought to the Chattanooga market last year in Ooltewah, allows shoppers to order goods via a phone app and pick them up that same day at the tower located inside the Walmart store. Standing at 16 feet tall and 8 feet around, the tower has shelves inside that hold up to 300 pieces of ordered merchandise.

"With the addition of the Pickup Tower and Online Grocery Pickup, we are able to offer customers an easier shopping experience with shorter wait times," said Sean Riley, regional general manager for Walmart. "We look forward to our customers' discovering just how fast and easy the tower makes it to pick up their online orders."

 

Visa, Mastercard shun Facebook's Libra plan

Visa and Mastercard are dropping out of Facebook's Libra project, a potentially fatal blow to the social network's plan for a worldwide digital currency.

Along with the two payment giants, several other large companies have announced their departures from Libra. Payment processing company Stripe said it was stepping back, as well as online auction company eBay.

PayPal was the first of Libra's big partners to exit, announcing last week it would no longer be involved.

Facebook faced substantial criticism about its plans to create a separate, private currency system to allow cross-border payments. Politicians on both sides of the spectrum questioned the privacy issues raised with Facebook controlling a currency, as well as concerns about money laundering.

 

FAA and Boeing made mistake in certification

The Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing made key mistakes certifying the new complex software system on the 737 Max that is now blamed for crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia and led to a worldwide grounding of the aircraft, according to a new report that adds more scrutiny to the process of approving passenger airplanes.

The report from the Joint Authorities Technical Review panel and commissioned by the FAA criticizes both the government agency and Boeing for the certification process that allowed the faulty MCAS software.

The 737 Max process shows the FAA needs to spend more time accounting for human factors with pilots when certifying new elements on planes, hire more inspectors to oversee new aircraft and update policies to deal with increasingly complex systems, the report said. It also urged the FAA to share safety information with foreign aviation authorities.

"The (committee) found that the MCAS was not evaluated as a complete and integrated function in the certification documents that were submitted to the FAA," the report said.

The report was submitted to the FAA Friday by a group made up of aviation authorities, including former National Transportation Safety Board chairman Christopher Hart and representatives from the FAA.

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