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Archive for Monday, October 4, 2004

Briefcase

October 4, 2004

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Settlement reached in Yellow Pages lawsuit

Kansas City, Mo.-- A class-action lawsuit that claimed Southwestern Bell Advertising bilked advertisers out of more than $20 million in late fees has been settled for $21.7 million.

The deal was approved this week by Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Tom Clark, who called it fair and adequate.

Two Kansas City-area companies, Liberty Cellular Inc. and Blast Inc., filed the initial suit in November 2001 claiming SBC violated its contract by charging a $25 late fee to advertisers who didn't pay their bills on time.

The plaintiffs claimed the late fees were falsely listed as collection activity fees on customer invoices. Clark ruled last year that the billing was "inherently deceptive" and that customers paid "without full knowledge of the facts."

The suit was eventually given class-action status, representing thousands of Yellow Pages advertisers in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

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Union still undecided on US Airways deal

Charlotte, N.C.-- Leaders of the pilots' union at bankrupt US Airways are taking their time to decide whether to forward a proposed contract to their members that would cut average pay by 18 percent.

A spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Assn. valued the concessions at $1.8 billion through five years -- the third concession that pilots have made to the company since 2002.

Union negotiators met Friday and Saturday with the union's master executive council and up to 80 pilots at a hotel in Charlotte, where US Airways has its largest hub. ALPA represents the airline's 3,000 pilots.

The meeting was adjourned Saturday afternoon with the conferees still undecided on whether to recommend that union members approve the tentative contract. The group will resume meeting Tuesday in Pittsburgh, union spokesman Jack Stephan said.

"Certain members have requested they have more time to review the documents and ask more questions of our advisers," he said.

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