Airline to contract out some jobsAmerican Airlines, the...

BUSINESS DIGEST

September 23, 1994

Airline to contract out some jobs

American Airlines, the nation's largest carrier, said yesterday that it will contract out work done by its agents in smaller airports, in a move to cut costs by $130 million a year amid fierce competition.

The move will affect about 550 airport agents in 30 cities, American said. The agents will be offered jobs in other cities or with the contractors who win the awards, or they will be offered a severance package. The airline's workers at Baltimore-Washington International Airport will not be affected, the company said.

GM to sell National Car Rental

General Motors Corp. said yesterday that it reached a preliminary agreement to sell the assets of National Car Rental System Inc. to an investment group led by Vestar Equity Partners for an undisclosed sum.

GM, the nation's largest automaker, said it signed a letter of intent to sell National, which has more than 5,000 locations in 132 countries.

GM said the sale reflects the company's strategy to divest noncore assets. GM acquired a 45 percent stake in National in September 1988 and has since acquired full ownership of the company.

Laurel Bancorp raises dividend

Laurel Bancorp Inc. yesterday raised its cash dividend by 25 percent, the company announced. The new quarterly dividend is 10 cents a share, up from 8 cents. It will be paid Oct. 14 to shareholders of record on Oct. 3.

This marks the second time this year that the parent of Laurel Federal Savings Bank has raised its quarterly dividend by 2 cents.

Laurel's stock was unchanged yesterday, at $11.25 bid.

6 Baby Bells form wireless link

Six regional Bell telephone companies linked up yesterday to offer entrants to the wireless communication market a unified system for linking calls and a broad range of support services.

Called Unibridge, the service is being offered by Ameritech Corp., Bell Atlantic, BellSouth Corp., Nynex Corp., Pacific Bell and U S West Inc.

The plan paves the way for compatible, nationwide services in advance of a Federal Communications Commission auction of radio frequencies for the next generation of tiny mobile phones.

Another weekly in Montgomery

Gazette Newspapers, a Gaithersburg-based weekly newspaper company, today is launching a countywide weekend edition that costs 50 cents an issue, or $26 a year. The company, which is owned by the Washington Post Corp., already publishes 15 weekly newspapers that appear on Wednesdays in 14 Montgomery County communities and Mount Airy.

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