News In Brief

LTV Corp., the nation's third-largest steelmaker, filed for bankruptcy but reached a financing deal with Chase Manhattan Corp. to avoid an outright shutdown. The Cleveland-based company with 18,000 workers has been unprofitable since 1997. It says unfairly priced imports have driven steel prices to 20-year lows. The Chapter 11 filing will give LTV time to obtain loans and preserve relationships with customers and suppliers, the company said. But it warned of a shutdown if there is no new financing.

Twenty-four current and former Kmart employees filed a lawsuit against the company, charging they were discriminated against when they returned to work after job-related injuries. Workers from the Kmart Retail Distribution Center in Pennsylvania claim the company denied them job advancement and overtime. They seek back pay and a return of jobs to those who were dismissed.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) should OK cuts in oil production at its next meeting Jan. 17, six Persian Gulf nations declared in a communique issued Sunday at a summit in Bahrain. A senior Saudi oil official specified that output should be reduced by 1.5 million to 2 million barrels a day to bring prices to about $25 a barrel. Over the past year, OPEC has increased production four times in a bid to stabilize soaring markets, but now, prices have fallen below $22 a barrel. The communique by the Gulf Cooperation Council follows similar comments by Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, and Venezuela.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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