NY Times Co warns unions
The New York Times Co has threatened to shut down the Boston Globe unless the Globe’s unions agree to US$20 million in cost-cutting measures, it was reported yesterday. The demands were made during a 90-minute meeting between Times and Globe executives and the newspaper’s 13 unions, the Globe reported. The concessions include pay cuts, terminating the company’s pension contributions and eliminating lifetime job guarantees, said Daniel Totten, president of the Boston Newspaper Guild — the Globe’s biggest union. The Globe, which began publishing in 1872, was sold to the New York Times Co in 1993.
Ministry shops globally
Beijing will send more commercial missions overseas to make purchases and investments this year, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming (陳德銘) said. “China won’t turn to protectionism just because of some temporary difficulties in its economic development,” Chen said at a London briefing after G20 policymakers agreed on steps to combat a global recession. Chinese companies spent more than US$13 billion during a purchasing tour in February to Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the UK. The ministry will send a business group on a buying trip to the US late this month, the 21st Century Business Herald reported last week.
FedEx fires 1,000 workers
FedEx Corp laid off 1,000 employees on Friday after third-quarter earnings dropped 75 percent. FedEx said half of the dismissed workers — all of whom were salaried or management employees — were employed in Memphis, where the corporation and its largest operating unit, FedEx Express, are headquartered. The company reported earnings of US$97 million, or US$0.31 a share, compared with US$393 million, or US$1.26 a share, a year earlier in the period from December to February. Revenue fell 14 percent from the previous year, to US$8.14 billion, and 14.7 percent from the previous financial quarter.
Japanese bank profits fall
Japan’s three biggest banking groups are expected to report net losses for the fiscal year to last Tuesday in the wake of the global financial crisis, local media reported yesterday. It would be the first net loss by the three — Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc, Mizuho Financial Group Inc and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc — in six years, the Asahi Shimbun and the Nikkei business daily reported. The three, which previously projected net profits for the fiscal year, are expected to downgrade their forecasts by the end of this month, the Asahi said. The expected losses are mainly because of larger-than-expected bad debts and a sharp decline in their shareholdings as the nation’s financial markets struggle to recover from the crisis, the newspaper said.
Satyam to name bid
Satyam Computer Services Ltd, the software provider at the center of India’s biggest corporate fraud inquiry, will announce the winning bid for the company on April 13, director Deepak Parekh said yesterday. Satyam’s state-appointed board is selling a 51 percent stake in the company to restore investor confidence and stem client and employee defections after founder Ramalinga Raju said on Jan. 7 that he had inflated US$1 billion in assets.