47% of major firms cut payrollsAlthough the...


47% of major firms cut payrolls

Although the economy has been improving, almost half of all major U.S. corporations cut jobs this past year and plan to further trim payrolls, an annual survey finds.

About 47.3 percent of respondents to the American Management Association survey released yesterday reported cutbacks in the 12 months that ended in June, up from 46.6 percent a year earlier.

Further, about one-quarter of the 713 firms surveyed plan to cut staff over the next year.

Westinghouse to upgrade jet radar

Westinghouse Electric Corp.'s local division is getting $106.5 million from the Air Force for upgrades to the weapons-control radars on F-16 jets.

The company's Electronic Systems Group, based in Linthicum, will supply 301 upgrade kits for radar systems for weapons on F-16s.

C. E. Stevens going to Hagerstown

C. E. Stevens Packaging Inc., maker of packaging for snack foods and produce, will relocate its operations from West Baltimore to a Hagerstown industrial park next month.

The company chose Hagerstown instead of another location in the Baltimore area because of the quality of life and work ethic in Washington County, as well as Washington County and Hagerstown tax breaks, said Robert Hallman, chairman and founder of the 19-year-old company.

C. E. Stevens has invested about $3.4 million in refurbishing an existing building and buying more machinery, he said. The company expects to boost its work force from about 30 people to 50 to 60 people, Mr. Hallman said.

Oncor buys French company

Oncor Inc., a maker of genetic test systems in Gaithersburg, said yesterday that it has purchased a company in Strasbourg, France, that makes molecular genetic products.

Oncor said it bought Appligene S.A. for $2.2 million in cash, notes with a principal amount of $4.3 million and 636,000 shares of Oncor common stock.

Hollings may block GATT bill

A leading senator yesterday threatened to block legislation to implement a new world trade treaty, raising the specter that the bill was dead for the year.

Despite a personal meeting with President Clinton at the White vTC House, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ernest F. Hollings, a South Carolina Democrat, told reporters he planned to use special legislative rules to bottle up GATT legislation in his panel for 45 days.

Because Congress is set to adjourn Oct. 7, such a delay could kill efforts to pass GATT this year.

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