GM workers vote to end strikeUnionized workers at General...

BUSINESS DIGEST

June 09, 1994

GM workers vote to end strike

Unionized workers at General Motors Corp.'s technical center in Warren, Mich., ratified an agreement to end a six-day strike and began returning to work yesterday.

About 70 percent of the technical center workers voted to approve the agreement, reached late Monday between GM and United Auto Workers Local 160, said local trustee David Pate.

The rest of the workers were expected back today. GM said the strike did not disrupt vehicle production.

The strike by 3,600 unionized workers at the mile-square GM complex in suburban Detroit began last Thursday after nine months of bargaining. The main issue was the company's use of outside contractors and employees of suppliers to help design parts.

Utility seeks 5.67% rate increase

Washington Gas Light Co., which supplies natural gas to southern Maryland and Maryland's Washington suburbs, yesterday asked the Maryland Public Service Commission for a 5.67 percent increase in its base rate, which will boost annual revenues by $17.6 million. Last July, the company received a rate increase of $10.6 million.

Pizza Hut gets 18 restaurants

Pizza Hut Inc. said it acquired 18 Pizza Hut restaurants in Cumberland, Hagerstown, Frederick and other Western Maryland locations from its largest franchisee, National Pizza Co. The transaction was part of a bigger deal in which Pizza Hut Inc. swapped 50 of its restaurants for more than 70 of National Pizza's restaurants.

Caterpillar doubles dividend

Caterpillar Inc. doubled its stock dividend yesterday, a move analysts said signals confidence in its long-term profitability despite labor unrest.

The board of the Peoria, Ill.-based earth-moving equipment maker increased its quarterly dividend to 30 cents a share, which will mean additional payments of about $60 million a year to Caterpillar's shareholders.

The company also announced plans to split its stock two-for-one to reduce its price and make it more attractive to individual buyers. Its stock fell $1.625 yesterday, to close at $104.375, on the New York Stock Exchange.

Eastern Stainless raising prices

Armco Inc. of Pittsburgh yesterday announced that its Baltimore-based stainless steel operation, Eastern Stainless Corp., is increasing its listed prices for stainless steel flat plate products by 5 percent. The increase, which will be effective with Sept. 5 shipments, will help support capital investments, restore profit margins and cover increased production costs, the company said.

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