News In Brief

Union officials urged 44,000 Boeing workers to accept a new contract offer from the company. After months of strike threats, the Seattle-based aerospace giant relented on two of the most contentious issues - job security and a plan to end overtime pay for weekend work. The offer includes a 25 percent increase in pension benefits, a 10 percent signing bonus, and annual wage increases of 4 percent, 4 percent, and 3 percent. Workers are to vote on the plan Wednesday.

Details were leaking out on a planned merger that would result in the world's second-largest retailing chain. In Paris, spokesmen for Carrefour and Promodes did not deny reports that their companies will announce the linkup today to combat new inroads into Europe by Wal-Mart of the US, the industry leader. Both retailers are French but have a strong presence in Latin America and Asia as well. Their combined net profit last year was just under $1 billion.

With its hostile takeover bid vetoed by regulators, the Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) now will look for other "partnerships" in Europe, a senior executive said. BNP's effort to put together the first bank in Europe with a trillion dollars in assets by taking over rival Socit Gnral was rejected over the weekend, and it was ordered to return a 37 percent stake in Socit Gnral's capital. BNP also said it intended to press ahead with plans to merge with Paribas, another French bank that would have been part of a three-sided deal.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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