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News In Brief

By Compiled from wire service reportsRobert Kilborn and Stephanie Cook / May 14, 2001



Striking Comair pilots rejected by a 1,042-to-99 vote a proposal crafted by the National Mediation Board that would have ended their walkout, the Air Line Pilots Association said. The stoppage began March 26. The regional carrier owned by Delta has said the pilots' decision was critical to its future. The strike has been costing the company a reported $4 million a day in lost revenue, and Comair was expected to lay off 2,000 of its 4,000 nonstriking employees as the Monitor went to press. No new contract talks are scheduled. Union leaders said the rejected plan fell short of pilots' goals for better salary, retirement plans, longer rest breaks, and pay for all on-duty hours. Comair said the offer would have raised pilots' pay to the highest in the regional airline industry. Comair, the US's No. 2 regional carrier, is based at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

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Conceding defeat, Prudential PLC agreed to abandon its deal to take over Houston-based insurer American General Corp. in exchange for a $595 million termination fee, Britain's Press Association reported. The move makes American International Group (AIG) the winner in what had become a bitter controversy over who would absorb American General. Prudential (which is not affiliated with the US insurance giant of the same name) thought it had a $26.5 billion deal in mid-March. But when its share price slid on news of the takeover, AIG stepped in with a $23 billion bid. Prudential then filed a lawsuit in Houston accusing AIG of tampering.

Struggling Isuzu Motor Ltd. was not commenting on a report that it may close one of its three assembly plants and lay off 3,000 employees. The Japanese automaker, 49 percent owned by General Motors, is expected to announce an overhaul plan May 28, the Kyodo News Agency said. Isuzu warned last month that it may report a loss of $542 million for the fiscal year that ended March 31.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor