Business & Finance
Thousands of British Broadcasting Corp. journalists and technicians went on a 24-hour strike Monday to protest proposed job cuts. The work stoppage severely disrupted radio and TV programs. Unions said that roughly 11,000 workers planned to participate in the strike, making Monday's walkout one of the biggest in the BBC's recent history. Three more strikes are planned in the coming weeks. The BBC, which has a total workforce of nearly 30,000, is hoping to cut 4,000 jobs in an effort to save $640 million.
Telenor ASA, Norway's state-controlled telecommunica tions group, announced deals Monday to buy Swedish and Danish broadband suppliers for more than $1 billion. Telenor, which is based in Fornebu, Norway, and employs about 20,000 workers in 16 countries, will buy Sweden's second-largest broadband supplier Bredbandsbolaget for $820 million and the smaller Danish provider Cybercity for $236 million. Both companies will continue to operate under their own brand names. The Norwegian government, which started to privatize part of Telenor in 2000, has reduced its stake to about 53 percent.
British Land Co., Britain's second biggest property developer, has agreed to buy a majority stake in smaller rival Pillar Property Plc., Bloomberg.com reported Monday. The offer values Pillar at $1.5 billion. British Land wanted to add Pillar's retail parks, such as Glasgow Fort, to its portfolio of retail outlets. Retail parks are currently the fastest growing real estate sector in Britain.
Teamsters at Coca-Cola bottling and distribution facilities in Hartford, Conn., and the Los Angeles area went on strike Monday morning. Union sources did not indicate the number of workers involved. The walkout, they said, was over the breakdown of contract negotiations and Coke's push for employees to pay more for healthcare.
The merger of US Airways and America West, which creates the sixth-largest US airline in terms of passenger miles, will have major hubs in Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Charlotte, N.C., with a secondary hub in Las Vegas, according to the website of America West Holdings Corp. By joining forces last week, US Airways, which has filed for bankruptcy twice in the last thee years, and American West say they hope to save $600 million annually by cutting 59 planes and eliminating unprofitable flights.