Bethlehem closing Pa. millA Bethlehem, Pa., steel...


Bethlehem closing Pa. mill

A Bethlehem, Pa., steel mill that made sections of the Empire State Building and Golden Gate Bridge is closing and 1,690 workers will lose their jobs, Bethlehem Steel Corp. said yesterday.

Bethlehem is shutting most of its Structural Products Plant, which employed 30,000 workers during World War II and again the early 1960s, and cutting two-thirds of its workers over the next 13 months.

A company spokeswoman said fewer skyscrapers are being built as developers turn to making buildings of two to three stories, which don't need the large, flanged beams that were once a major line of production at the plant.

Wrongful-firing suit dismissed

A federal judge in Baltimore dismissed a wrongful-termination lawsuit filed against Metallgesellschaft AG by the former head of its oil trading arm, ordering that the case be heard in arbitration.

Judge J. Frederick Motz ruled that Arthur Benson, a former vice president for MG Corp., was bound by a contract with the company to take all claims to arbitration. Mr. Benson, the former head of MG's U.S. refining and marketing unit, was fired as president of MG Refining & Marketing Inc. in December after Metallgesellschaft disclosed massive losses from trading oil futures contracts.

Kodak sells home-products line

Eastman Kodak Co. agreed yesterday to sell its do-it-yourself products business, maker of Thompson's Water Seal and Red Devil paints, for $700 million in cash.

The deal with Forstmann Little & Co., a New York-based investment partnership, brings Kodak almost to the end of its speedy divestiture of non-photography subsidiaries.

AST begins laying off 700

Computer maker AST Research Inc. yesterday began laying off nearly 700 workers, or 10 percent of its staff, in a cost-cutting move that will send its California manufacturing operations to Taiwan.

AST said it expects to lose $39 million to $40 million, or $1.20 to $1.25 per share, in fiscal 1995's first quarter, which ended Sept. 30.

HOW Insurance in receivership

The nation's leading insurer of new home warranties agreed yesterday to an order giving Virginia regulators control of the company until its financial troubles are solved or a buyer is found.

The order, signed by Richmond Circuit Judge Melvin R. Hughes Jr., makes the State Corporation Commission the permanent receiver for HOW Insurance Co. A consultant hired by the state estimated that HOW's liabilities, including its obligation to pay claims in the future, exceeded its assets by $47.9 million as of June 30.


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