Archive for Wednesday, November 3, 2004

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November 3, 2004

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Casino workers to vote on five-year contract

Thousands of striking casino-hotel workers reached a tentative contract agreement that signals an end to a bitter, month-old walkout -- the longest in Atlantic City casino history.

The union representing about 10,000 striking bartenders, cocktail servers, housekeepers and other service employees approved the five-year deal late Monday. It calls for significant gains in wages and benefits and guards against the casinos' practice of leasing space to nonunion restaurants and bars.

A vote by rank-and-file members was planned for today. Workers could be back on the job as early as Thursday, according to union officials.

Internet

Source: AOL to cut jobs

America Online, which has been trying to turn its fortunes around as users leave the service for broadband connections, plans to cut about 700 jobs next month, or 5 percent of its U.S. work force, in a bid to meet financial targets, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the job cuts would occur mainly in northern Virginia, where the online service is based.

Jim Whitney, an AOL spokesman, declined to comment.

AOL employs about 13,000 people in the United States and 20,000 worldwide.

Leadership

Raytheon board proposes having annual elections

Raytheon Co.'s board of directors is recommending that shareholders approve annual elections for all board members to replace the current system of three-year terms.

The Waltham, Mass.-based defense contractor said Tuesday its 11-member board submitted the proposal to shareholders for a vote at Raytheon's annual meeting in May.

If shareholders approve, the entire board would stand for election each year, beginning with the 2006 annual meeting. Raytheon now elects its directors in three classes for staggered three-year terms.

Raytheon Aircraft Co., the company's aviation division, is based in Wichita.

Telecommunications

Nextel, Verizon end feud

Nextel Communications Inc. and Verizon Wireless unexpectedly resolved a heated dispute Tuesday about a federal proposal to clear up interference between cell phones and emergency response radios by moving Nextel's signals to a more valuable band of spectrum.

In exchange for Verizon dropping its opposition to the spectrum proposal, Nextel is withdrawing its claim of trademark rights for the phrase "Push To Talk" and the word "push" to describe the popular walkie-talkie service which Nextel introduced to cell phones and which Verizon and other rivals now offer.

The agreement announced Tuesday ends a public argument in which each company accused the other of putting business interests ahead of public safety concerns.

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