The United Steelworkers of America's executive board approved a restructuring late yesterday that reduces by almost half its number of regional districts. Baltimore-based District 8 will almost triple in membership.
Union President George Becker said the consolidations better reflect the geographical makeup of the union and will give its membership a more unified voice politically.
The reorganization, which reduces the number of districts from 21 to 12, makes Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky, with 41,800 dues-paying members, part of the Baltimore district. Previously, the district comprised Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey, with 14,000 members. The district office will continue to be headed by David Wilson, director since 1981.
Continental Lite to be scrapped
Continental Airlines announced yesterday it is scrapping Continental Lite, the low-fare, no-frills service once seen as the carrier's financial savior, after it lost $100 million to $120 million in 1994.
The "airline within an airline" was intended to combat competition from low-fare airlines such as Southwest Airlines Co.
Houston-based Continental also said yesterday that it took a $446.8 million fourth-quarter charge to pay for restructuring.
Gallant to take Blue Cross post
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland has hired Ann Gallant, a marketing and public relations executive, to fill the long-vacant position of vice president of corporate communications.
Ms. Gallant will develop what the company terms a "corporate image strategy."
President and Chief Executive William L. Jews has been trying to improve the company's image, which was tarnished in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Blue Cross nearly became insolvent under his predecessor, Carl Sardegna.
Ms. Gallant has been a partner in Gallant Green + Kaiser, an advertising and marketing agency. Before that, she was director of marketing and communications for The Baltimore Sun Co.
Baby Bells to sell stake in Bellcore
The seven regional Bell operating companies said yesterday they would sell their stake in Bellcore, the research lab they have jointly owned since the breakup of AT&T; in 1984.
Bellcore and the carriers retained Morgan Stanley to advise them on the transition. Executives said it was too early to place a value on the lab, which is based in Livingston, N.J.
USF&G; completes purchase
USF&G; Corp. said yesterday it has completed the purchase of closely held Discover Re Managers Inc. for $78.5 million.
The acquisition marks the Baltimore-based insurer's entry into the fast-growing alternative risk transfer (ART) market.