An item in the Aug. 15 Business section said pilots at United Airlines had asked for the removal of the company's chief executive. It was the International Association of Machinists that asked for a bankruptcy trustee to replace current management. The item also misspelled the chief executive's name. It is Glenn F. Tilton. (Published 8/30/04)
Oil Mucks Up Everything
The recall election this weekend in Venezuela. A refinery fire in Ohio. Concerns about hurricane damage to oil platforms in the Gulf. More fighting in Iraq. Whatever the reason, oil prices rose to a record $46.58 a barrel by week's end as more analysts warned that they would remain high for some time. The run-up in energy prices was a major contributor to a higher-than-expected June trade deficit and a drop in consumer confidence, while the Federal Reserve said it was the main culprit in the economy's recent slowdown.
Toys Were Us?
Toys R Us says it is losing market share so quickly to Wal-Mart and other discounters that it may exit the toy business after the coming Christmas season. The company would focus on its children's clothing and furniture unit. Wal-Mart, meanwhile, is in talks to build its first District store in the Brentwood neighborhood of Northeast, next door to a Giant Food and a Home Depot. The site, once a lot for impounded cars, had previously been approved for a Kmart before that chain filed for bankruptcy protection.
No Soft Landings
US Airways could face a second trip into bankruptcy if it doesn't quickly win more concessions from its unions, according to consultants hired by the airline's pilots union. Acknowledging the depth of its problem, the carrier announced deep cutbacks in service at its Pittsburgh hub. At United Airlines, meanwhile, pilots asked a bankruptcy judge to remove chief executive Glenn Tilden after the company suspended contributions to its pension funds. The government also questioned the move.
Splitting the Tax Burden
A new study from the Congressional Budget Office reignited the debate about the fairness of the Bush tax cuts. Republicans point to figures showing that the rich are paying a greater percentage of all personal income taxes. Democrats prefer to look at the tables totting up all federal taxes, which show a noticeable shift in burden from the rich to the middle class. The nonpartisan conclusion: The income tax became more progressive while the total federal tax system became less so.
SUVs Hit a Bump
As if high gas prices weren't already cutting into sales of sport-utility vehicles, the government released a study showing that more than a third of new-model SUVs have a tendency to roll over. The Chrysler Pacifica came out tops in the new ratings, Ford's Explorer Sport Trac at the bottom. Until recently, SUVs accounted for much of the growth in auto sales for the Big Three automakers, and virtually all of their profits. But even with generous incentives, sales of truck-based SUVs are up only 1.3 percent this year.