Lawsuit filed against publishersThe American Booksellers...

BUSINESS DIGEST

May 28, 1994

Lawsuit filed against publishers

The American Booksellers Association said yesterday it filed an antitrust lawsuit against five publishers, claiming they discriminate against small bookstores and favor large retail chains.

The publishers enter into secret deals with large bookstore chains and warehouse buying clubs, offering discounts and promotional pricing not available to other stores, the trade group charged.

The trade group, which represents 4,552 retail bookstores across the country, filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia against Houghton Mifflin

Co. Inc., Hugh Lauter Levin Associates Inc., Penguin USA Inc., Rutledge Hill Press Inc. and St. Martin's Press Inc.

Polish steel mill awards contract

Environmental Elements Corp., a Baltimore-based builder of air pollution-control equipment, has received an $8.5 million contract to refurbish equipment at the Huta Katowice steel mill in Poland, the company said yesterday.

The new work comes as the company reported a loss of $2.6 million, or 38 cents a share, for the fourth quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $5 million, or 72 cents a share, for the same period a year ago. For the fiscal year, the company lost $6.8 million, or 98 cents a share, compared with a loss of $11.2 million, or $1.60 a share, for the previous year. The company's stock closed yesterday at $3.50 a share, up 12.5 cents.

The company also announced the appointment of John J. Halloran, previously with Riley Stoker Corp. and Combustion Engineering, as vice president and general manager of the aftermarket division.

Judge bars workers from striking

A federal judge yesterday permanently barred Conrail Inc. track workers from striking over working conditions, saying last week's walkout violated the collective bargaining agreement.

Judge Franklin VanAntwerpen of U.S. District Court in Philadelphia made permanent the temporary restraining order issued May 20 that sent 3,500 striking members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way back to work.

The May 20 strike shut down freight movements along the company's 12,200 miles of rail for 13 hours.

Local firm wins postal contract

Westinghouse Corp.'s Electronic Systems Group in Linthicum

won a $13.9 million contract to increase the amount of mail that can be processed on high-speed automated equipment, the U.S. Postal Service said yesterday.

The unit will provide software and equipment to improve the Postal Service's optical character reader equipment to send images of letters unable to be read by machines to encoding centers.

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