Reich mulls higher minimum wageLabor Secretary Robert...

Reich mulls higher minimum wage

Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich suggested yesterday that he might recommend raising the hourly minimum wage by 50 cents, although the increase could be somewhat less to help employers cover the costs of complying with proposed health-care reforms.


Mr. Reich said the current $4.25-an-hour minimum wage, when adjusted for inflation, is 30 percent below what it was in 1968. An increase to $4.75 an hour would recover only part of the loss, he said.

Ruling backs Colonnade foreclosure


Judge James F. Schneider of U.S. Bankruptcy Court yesterday dismissed a bankruptcy petition filed against the Colonnade hotel and condominium complex in Baltimore by contractors who worked on the building.

The move cleared the final obstacle to completing a foreclosure sale of the project. The Colonnade was sold at auction Sept. 13 for about $4.8 million, subject to confirmation by the Circuit Court of Baltimore.

P&G; expects record earnings

Procter & Gamble Co. says it expects to report record earnings and unit volume for its fiscal first quarter, which ended Sept. 30.

At the company's annual meeting, Edwin Artzt, the chairman and chief executive, cited improved U.S. business as a key to those results. P&G; expects to announce its first-quarter earnings Oct. 26. In the year-ago quarter, the company posted net income of $431 million, or 60 cents a share.

Executive shift at Black & Decker

Joseph Galli, who had been president of U.S. power tools for Black & Decker Corp., has been named president of North American power tools for the Towson-based manufacturer. In his new position, Mr. Galli will report to Gary DiCamillo, the new president of power tools and accessories.

AlliedSignal and BASF plan venture


AlliedSignal Inc. and BASF Corp., the U.S. unit of Germany's BASF AG, say they will merge their nylon businesses in a joint venture to create the world's second-largest producer of clothing and carpet fibers.

Low corn harvest expected

The Agriculture Department estimates this year's corn harvest at 6.6 billion bushels, the lowest in a decade, except for the drought years of 1983 and 1988.

Yesterday's estimate, down 4 percent from last month's and about 30 percent below the 1992 record of 9.48 billion bushels of corn, reflects the effects of summer flooding in the Midwest and the drought in the Southeast.