British Airways Makes Deal With Caterer

British Airways said it agreed to a new deal with Gate Gourmet, the U.S. company that provides its in-flight meals, but union leaders said talks with the catering company had collapsed.

The airline's director of customer service and operations said BA and Gate Gourmet had agreed to terms that would give the caterer more money and extend its contract to 2010. But he said BA would wait to sign the deal until the caterer solved its staffing dispute with the Transport and General Workers Union. Talks between the caterer and union have been stalled by the company's refusal to reinstate the 660 employees it sacked after they staged an unofficial strike about working conditions, which grounded hundreds of flights.


U.S. Warned of Tariffs Tied to Lumber Policy

The Canadian government hinted at an escalating trade war with the United States, with two federal ministers warning of tariffs on U.S. products in retaliation for Washington's policies against Canadian lumber.

Ottawa is trying to identify potential tariffs on U.S. products into Canada that would put the most pressure on the United States and do the least harm domestically, government officials said.

The warning comes one week after the United States announced it would ignore a decision by a NAFTA panel that found Canadian lumber exports did not harm U.S. producers.


Space Agency to Test High-Speed Plane

Japan's space agency plans to launch an arrow-shaped airplane at twice the speed of sound high over the Australian Outback as early as next month in a crucial test of the country's push to develop a successor to the Concorde.

The test follows a three-year hiatus since the first experimental flight of the unmanned aircraft prematurely separated from its booster rocket and crashed into the desert.

If the mission is successful, JAXA aims to develop a plane that can carry 300 passengers at Mach 2, or twice the speed of sound, making the run from Tokyo to Los Angeles in about four hours.


Union Aims to Block Acquisition of Carrefour

The Union Network International says it is already working to block a possible acquisition of Carrefour, the world's second-largest retailer, by larger rival Wal-Mart Stores.

"We've had preliminary discussions with the regulators in Brussels about the impact Wal-Mart will have on retail markets if the rumored takeover of Carrefour takes place," said Philip Jennings, general secretary of UNI, a Swiss-based federation representing more than 15 million workers.

A Carrefour spokeswoman said the company denies any discussions with Wal-Mart.

Compiled from news service reports.

Fired former employees of Gate Gourmet protest at London's Heathrow Airport. Talks between the caterer and union have stalled.