News In Brief

Boeing Co. executives did not expect aircraft production to shut down at assembly plants around Seattle despite the first full-fledged strike in the company's history. An estimated 17,000 engineers and technical workers of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace walked off the job Wednesday, vowing to hold out "one day longer" than the company in their demand for higher pay and more generous benefits. The engineers' salaries average $63,000 a year; the technicians' $45,000 each. If necessary, the company said, workers in comparable jobs could be flown in from its plant in Long Beach, Calif.

The long battle for control of National Westminster Bank, Britain's fourth-largest, appeared over as the Monitor went to press. Reports said three of NatWest's five major shareholders had pledged support for a takeover offer in excess of $35 billion from Royal Bank of Scotland, rather than a competing bid by Bank of Scotland. NatWest's board was expected to issue a concession statement later in the day, although its spokesman called the reports "speculative." Bank of Scotland began the fight last Sept. 24, taking the industry by surprise because it is half the size of NatWest. But now, apparently confronting defeat, Bank of Scotland may become a takeover target itself, analysts said.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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