In the Region EarthShell to sell biodegradable wares at...

BUSINESS DIGEST

October 13, 2001

In the Region

EarthShell to sell biodegradable wares at selected Wal-Marts

Expanding from its base in the food service industry, EarthShell Corp. said yesterday that its biodegradable plates and bowls will be sold at select Wal-Mart stores in Baltimore and in Portland, Ore., beginning next month.

"This is the first time that our products have been made available for retail sale," said Vincent J. Truant, chief marketing officer of California-based EarthShell, which manufactures its products under an operating agreement with Sweetheart Cup. Co. in Owings Mills.

The company would not disclose projected sales or the number of stores that will sell the products.

Elsewhere

Ex-Teamsters chief Carey is acquitted of lying during probe

Ousted Teamsters President Ron Carey was acquitted yesterday of lying to investigators probing fund-raising improprieties in his 1996 bid to be re-elected president of the nation's second-largest union.

A federal jury in Manhattan concluded that Carey, 65, a former truck driver, hadn't committed perjury in depositions and appearances before a federal monitor overseeing the Teamsters, a union review board and a federal grand jury in 1997.

Carey, of Queens, N.Y., was accused of seven perjury counts, each carrying a possible five-year prison sentence. He told reporters afterward that he felt vindicated and said he is interested in rejoining the Teamsters.

Boeing says it will lay off 12,000 workers by Dec. 14

Boeing Co. said yesterday that it will cut roughly 12,000 employees from its commercial airplanes and shared services divisions by Dec. 14 in a first round of layoffs prompted by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

About 9,000 of those employees were scheduled to receive 60-day layoff notices yesterday, nearly 7,000 of them in the Puget Sound region of Washington, where the majority of Boeing's commercial jets are built.

The 3,000 remaining jobs will be eliminated through attrition, retirement and laying off contract employees, Boeing said.

Steelworkers ratify pact covering 12,000 at Alcoa

The United Steelworkers of America have ratified a five-year labor contract with Alcoa Inc. that grants increases in wages and pension benefits to 12,000 workers at 19 U.S. plants.

The contract was approved by 57 percent of the membership and is retroactive to June 1, the union said yesterday. It replaced an earlier accord that was to expire next year.

The agreement also allows employees who were laid off an opportunity to be transferred to other plants.

Alcoa, the biggest aluminum maker, confirmed that the contract was ratified.

Deutsche Telekom bonds backed by telephone bills

Deutsche Telekom AG, Europe's biggest phone company, said yesterday that it will use a novel bond issue to restructure some of its towering debt and save millions in interest. It plans to issue 2 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in bonds backed by revenue from telephone bills - a predictable cash flow that should reduce the risk to investors and persuade them to accept a lower interest rate.

The former German telephone monopoly forecast savings of about 20 million euros ($18 million) a year over the costs of financing via a conventional bond issue.

The new bonds don't reduce Deutsche Telekom's total borrowing, which was 68 billion euros ($61.9 billion) in July, but will replace some higher-interest debt.

Telecom Italia SpA made a similar move earlier in the year, selling 700 million euros ($635 million) of asset-backed bonds. France Telecom SA is reportedly weighing a 2.4 billion euro ($2.2 billion) issue.

This column was compiled from reports by Sun staff writers, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and Reuters.

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