daily briefing

daily briefing

October 25, 2008

Corporate service center for XLHealth to open

XLHealth, owner of a Medicare health plan for people with chronic conditions, will create a corporate service center in Montgomery Park Business Center in Southwest Baltimore, the company said yesterday. It will employ more than 150 workers. The company owns Care Improvement Plus and is based in the Warehouse at Camden Yards in downtown Baltimore. The service center will house eight departments that provide service to members and health provides, including call centers. Other tenants at Montgomery Park, which had been converted from a shuttered Montgomery Ward catalog center, include M&T Bank, Chubb Insurance, the Maryland Department of the Environment, the Maryland State Lottery and NCO Financial Group.

Lorraine Mirabella

Pension group losses at $5 billion, head says

The federal agency charged with backstopping pension benefits for 44 million Americans lost almost $5 billion on its investments in stocks in the budget year that ended Sept. 30, the agency head acknowledged yesterday. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. will lose 6 percent to 7 percent on its entire investment portfolio, PBGC Director Charles Millard told the House Education and Labor Committee. It lost a higher percentage of its investments in equities. But that won't jeopardize the agency's ability to pay retirees who depend on it, Millard said. The PBGC's responsibilities include paying pensions promised to retirees of Bethlehem Steel.

GM extends shutdown of Del. assembly plant

DETROIT : General Motors Corp. says it will extend the temporary shutdown of its Wilmington, Del., assembly plant for three more weeks because of slow demand for the vehicles it makes. The factory's 1,500 workers make the Saturn Sky, Pontiac Solstice and Opel GT. Workers had earlier been told that the plant would be shut down the weeks of Oct. 27 and Nov. 3. Spokesman Tony Sapienza says the plant will remain closed the following three weeks, and GM plans to reopen it in the first week of December. Last week, GM said it will cut the plant's second shift starting Dec. 8, indefinitely laying off 400 workers.

Associated Press

Chrysler seen likely to cut about 5,000 jobs

DETROIT: Chrysler LLC, whose owner has been in talks to sell the automaker to General Motors Corp., said yesterday it will cut 25 percent of its salaried work force starting next month and warned that it will make more restructuring announcements soon. CEO Robert Nardelli said the moves are being made as the company "works to find new ways to operate." Chrysler, which has about 18,500 white-collar workers, said yesterday it also will cut a quarter of its contract employees - those who work for other companies under contract with the automaker. About 5,000 people are likely to lose their jobs, although the company would not say how many contract workers it has.

Associated Press

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