Business & Finance

Flight attendants for Delta Air Lines have gathered enough signatures to authorize a vote on union representation, federal officials announced. Delta is the least-unionized major US carrier, and the Association of Flight Attendants said the vote will be the largest yet in the airline industry, although no date has been set. Delta's ramp and cargo workers rejected unionization last year, and the carrier said it expected the flight attendants would do so as well.

In layoff news:

• Qwest Communications announced 4,000 layoffs by March 2002 to offset an expected decline in revenues and income growth in coming quarters.

• Mitsubishi Electric, the last of Japan's five major electronics conglomerates to announce restructuring plans, will cut 3,000 jobs, the Tokyo newspaper Nihon Keizai reported.

• Michelin North America said it will cut 2,000 jobs, or 7 percent of its workforce. The Greenville, S.C.-based company hopes to complete layoffs mostly through attrition and voluntary severance programs. Michelin has 23 plants in North America and is a subsidiary of France's Michelin, the world's No. 2 tiremaker.

• In a bid to save $50 million a year, Quintiles Transnational Corp. announced 1,000 layoffs. The provider of pharmaceutical testing services is based in Durham, N.C.

• Guilford Mills will close its textile plant in Cobleskill, N.Y., Nov. 8, resulting in 500 layoffs, the Greensboro, N.C.-based garment manufacturer announced. The Cobleskill plant makes swimwear, lingerie, and home fabrics.

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