Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Tristate summary

Unions to review pacts with GE

Staff and wire reports

Union leaders will meet today and Wednesday to review tentative agreements with General Electric. The four-year contracts were reached Sunday just hours before the previous contracts were set to expire.

The company and the unions said the proposals would improve wages, pensions and benefits.

The pacts would cover more than 24,000 workers, including about 2,000 at GE Aircraft Engines in Evendale.

Winn-Dixie seen as poor bet

Winn-Dixie Stores Inc.'s long-term credit ratings were cut to junk Monday by Standard & Poor's because of disappointing sales at the supermarket chain amid intensifying competition.

The ratings may be further reduced, Standard & Poor's said.

Winn-Dixie, which operates in 12 states (including Ohio and Kentucky, where it owns Thriftway) had $337 million in debt as of April 2.

Buck joins board of Multi-Color

Multi-Color Corp., a Cincinnati label and packaging services provider, has named Robert R. Buck, former Cintas Corp. executive, to its board of directors.

Buck, former president of Cintas' uniform rental business, will join Multi-Color's board on July 1, filling the term of the late Burton Morgan. Buck will stand for a full term on the board at the company's August annual meeting.

Production halted on Guidant graft

A subsidiary of medical device manufacturer Guidant Corp. is ending production of an aortic abdominal graft, only days after the unit pleaded guilty to criminal charges for covering up problems involving the product that may have led to 12 deaths.

Endovascular Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based Guidant, pleaded guilty to 10 felonies last week involving its Ancure "stent-graft" device, including shipping misbranded products and making false statements to government regulators.

Endovascular faces $92.4 million in federal penalties.

Guidant officials said Monday that Menlo Park, Calif.-based Endovascular would continue to ship the device and provide support to patients until October. The company will provide long-term services for patients who have received the device.

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