Bell, unions reach local accordBell Atlantic Corp. and two...

BUSINESS DIGEST

September 04, 1992

Bell, unions reach local accord

Bell Atlantic Corp. and two unions representing 52,000 workers have reached agreement on local issues, such as administration of work rules and overtime, completing collective bargaining between the two sides that began almost three months ago. A general settlement on wages and benefits was reached Aug. 23.

The new contracts for the Communications Workers of America, which represent 40,000 workers -- about 8,500 in Maryland -- and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents about 12,000 workers, is expected to be presented to the unions' members for ratification. The deadline for ratification is Oct. 6.

Andrew pounds GEICO earnings

GEICO Corp. said after-tax losses from Hurricane Andrew, net of reinsurance, could reach $13 million to $14 million and reduce third-quarter earnings by 18 cents to 19 cents a share.

The company, based in Chevy Chase, estimated that its gross losses from Andrew could be as much as $50 million, about five times the losses from Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Most of the losses were in Florida. Last year, GEICO reported third-quarter earnings of 77 cents a share.

IBM to start PC subsidiary

International Business Machines Corp., desperate to maintain its place on the cutting edge of the computer industry, said yesterday that it would start a new company to handle its personal computer business.

The splinter company, which would still be the world's largest personal computer maker with annual revenues of about $7 billion, will try to evolve into a more flexible competitor in the fast-moving PC market.

EC to study U.S. wheat subsidies

The European Community said yesterday that it would investigate whether the huge new wheat export subsidies announced Wednesday by President Bush violate an international trade agreement.

Agricultural subsidies have been a major bone of contention between the United States and the EC. The dispute has delayed an ambitious attempt to reform the world trading system.

Crop Genetics site in Columbia

Crop Genetics International said it has rented 75,000 square feet at Rivers Corporate Park in Columbia for its headquarters and to house its new manufacturing facility for environmentally safe bioinsecticides.

The company will begin using the building in the second quarter of 1993 after $4 million worth of improvements. The company raised $10 million in a recent public offering to begin the project.

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