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Anadarko Petroleum Corp. agreed to buy Union Pacific Resources Group Inc. in a $4 billion stock swap that will create one of the largest independent oil companies in the world. The combined company, which will have big exploration stakes in Texas, Alaska, and the Gulf of Mexico, will have crude oil and natural gas reserves equaling 1.94 billion barrels. Anadarko is based in Houston; Union Pacific in Fort Worth, Texas.

As much as 70 percent of the commercial office space in Los Angeles County could be affected if unionized custodians carry out an authorized strike against 18 cleaning contractors. Contracts between the two parties expired Friday; 3,000 of the 8,500 unionized janitors voted in favor of the walkout Monday. The workers, who make $6.90 per hour on average, are demanding a $1-an-hour pay increase for each of the next three years. The final offer from contractors was for two boosts of 40 cents an hour in the second and third years. The strike could be a precursor to nationwide disruptions, since contracts covering some 100,000 janitors from Seattle to New York expire in the coming months.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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