Business & Finance
In the troubled airline industry:
• A bankruptcy court judge in Chicago imposed a temporary 13 percent salary cut on United Airlines machinists. The carrier reached voluntary agreements with four other unions on wage givebacks it says are needed to satisfy a financing arrangement with creditors.
• Unionized flight attendants, communications workers, and machinists at bankrupt US Airways narrowly approved a second round of labor concessions worth $45 million a year. The carrier had warned that failure to do so could result in liquidation.
• American Airlines said it would trim fewer flight attendant jobs than previously expected. The world's largest airline announced plans in December to furlough 1,100 flight attendants by the end of this month, but revised that figure to 836.
Microsoft Corp. agreed to a $1.1 billion settlement of several class-action lawsuits in California that accused the software giant of violating state antitrust and unfaircompetition laws. Under Friday's agreement, proceeds from the settlement will be distributed in the form of vouchers for computers and software products. Similar antitrust suits have been filed in 16 other states. These private lawsuits are separate from a case Microsoft settled last year with the Justice Department and several states.
Sony Corp. named NBC president Andrew Lack to head its Sony Music Entertainment division, which has been hit by declining profits. Lack, a veteran of the news business with no prior experience in the music industry, replaces Thomas Mottola, who announced Jan. 9 that he was resigning to found his own label.
J.C. Penney Co. said it will cut 2,000 jobs and close three facilities in its catalog business, which has seen sales fall sharply over the past year. The company said Friday it would close a catalog-fulfillment and telemarketing center in suburban Atlanta and a telemarketing center in Leneza, Kan., by the end of the second quarter. While sales at J.C. Penney's department stores rose in December, the catalog division saw a 23.7 percent drop from 2001.