Business & Finance

Bankrupt Delphi Corp. has proposed new contract terms to the United Auto Workers Union that would cut hourly wages by up to two-thirds, whittle down holidays and vacation time, and pull the plug on healthcare benefits for retirees. In a letter dated Oct. 21, chief Steve Miller also warned that Delphi's entire pension plan could be terminated if the UAW does not agree to concessions. A UAW spokesman contacted by the Associated Press declined to comment, but union leaders reportedly were angry when the letter reached them last week. The union represents almost 25,000 Delphi employees.

The owner of the Sheraton and Westin hotel chains said it is negotiating with "numerous parties" to sell as much as $4 billion worth of assets as the industry anticipates a surge in travel, especially by businesspeople. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide of White Plains, N.Y., said it would invest proceeds from such sales in managing hotels for other chains. The trade publication has identified one potential buyer as Host Marriott Corp., the largest US hotel company. Starwood owns, franchises, or manages 750 hotels around the world.

Anglo American PLC, the world's second-largest mining company, said it will buy back up to $1 billion worth of its shares and reduce its stake in its AngloGold Ashanti subsidiary to below 50 percent. The company said it wants to concentrate on its core businesses, such as coal, iron ore, and diamonds. It is based in London.

Bankrupt Northwest Airlines has designs on asking flight attendants to accept a 17 percent pay cut and on employing mostly nonunionized Asian flight attendants to service international routes, The Wall Street Journal reported. Overseas routes are prized, higher-paying assignments that normally go to the most senior attendants. A spokes-man for the Association of Flight Attendants said it and other airline unions worry that the outsourcing of jobs by Northwest, which already has replaced many mechanics with outside contractors, might become an industrywide trend.

Electronics giant Sony Corp. said it will delist from nine overseas stock exchanges to help reduce costs. It will maintain listings in New York and London but terminate those on such major bourses as Frankfurt, Germany; Paris; Chicago; and Toronto because the volume of trading in its shares there has been "extremely low."

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