News In Brief

A Los Angeles court denied a request for a restraining order to prevent at least 4,000 striking janitors from blocking the entrances to office buildings. The city's biggest employer of custodians, American Building Maintenance, had alleged that strikers were harassing and assaulting supervisors and temporary workers who were trying to enter buildings due for cleaning. Unionized custodians in Los Angeles launched an authorized walkout against 18 contractors last week, demanding a $1-an-hour pay increase for each of the next three years. Some 275 counterparts in San Diego were poised to join the walkout, a representative for their union said, after they were offered about a third of the pay increase they were seeking.

More major organizational changes are in store for BMW, the German luxury carmaker, London's Sunday Times reported. Citing industry insiders, the newspaper said BMW's largest shareholder, the Quandt family, plans to sell its 48 percent stake and invest the proceeds in technology and communications companies. The asking price is believed to be at least $31.5 billion, but no sale is expected to be completed until next year because Germany's capital-gains tax rates are scheduled to be lowered then. Last month, BMW sold its money-losing British subsidiary, Rover.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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