The Tribune from Scranton, Pennsylvania on May 27, 1994 · 29
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The Tribune from Scranton, Pennsylvania · 29

Scranton, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Friday, May 27, 1994
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THE TRIBUNE. SCRANTON, PA FRIDAY. MAY 27. 1994 B13 3 Briefs flititWlWllliWtfflWffl Mack to build vehicles in Mexico They also serve who stand and wait - at $40 an hour ASSOCIATED PRESS " ALLENTOWN, Pa. Mack Trucks will be built in Mexico soon for sale in that country, according to a company spokesman. "" This will be incremental production for the Mexican market, Mack spokesman John Mies said Wednesday.' "In other words, trucks made there will be for Mexico. This will have no negative impact on U.S. employment. Macks its parent company is Renault Vehicles Industries of France. The Mexican plant would produce both Mack and RVI vehicles, Mies said. He could not name specific models. Heinz looks to buy Indian food company ASSOCIATED PRESS 13 1 1 ".PITTSBURGH H.J. Heinz Go. is trying to close a deal for the purchase of the family products division of Glaxo India Limited, which produces a wide Tange of nutritional drinks, baby foods and other products. The transaction has been approved by both companies board of directors but is still being negotiated, Heinz said Thursday. Indias government and Glaxo Shareholders also must sign off pn the acquisition, Heinz said. Heinz Chairman Anthony J.F. OReilly said his company sees the deal as an access route to the '900 million people who live in India. ! Three railroads win top safety honors ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON Norfolk Southern, Illinois Central and Bessemer and Lake Erie railroads won the nations top honors for employee safety. ; The E.H. Harriman Awards were presented to 12 railroads Thursday, with winners chosen based on Federal Railroad Administration records of employee deaths, injuries and occupational illnesses. Norfolk Southern was the top prize winner in the large railroad category, with second place going to CSX and third spot to Amtrak. . Among medium size railways first place went to Illinois Central. Davidson named Union Pacific head ' ASSOCIATED PRESS 1 BETHLEHEM, Pa Richard Davidson, chairman of the Union Pacific Railroad, Thursday was elected president of the parent Union Pacific Corp. which also owns gas and oil. wells and a nationwide trucking firm. ' Davidson, 52, also was named a director of the corporation as ,were L. White Matthews HI, 49, its executive vice president for finance, and Jack Messman, 54, chief executive of Union Pacific - Resources, the oil and gas sub sidiary. All three men will continue to report to Union Pacific Corp. chairman Drew Lewis. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages drop ASSOCIATED PRESS : WASHINGTON Thirty-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 9.53 percent this week, down from 8.56 percent last week, . according to a national survey released Thursday by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. - It matched the rate of May 5. The average hit a 25-year low of 6.74 percent in October. On one-year adjustable rate mortgages, lenders were asking fin average initial rate of 5.48 percent, down from 5.58 percent last week. t Fifteen-year mortgages, a popular option for those refinancing tnortgages, averaged 7.99 percent this week, down from 8.04 percent a week earlier. By Jim Drinkard ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER WASHINGTON Perhaps only in Washington could waiting in line become a cutthroat business, complete with a police investigation. But even here, this seems weird: a Capitol Police probe into lobbyists hiring surrogates to hold their place in line outside crowded congressional hearings. The practice of line-standing has grown over the past several years as high-priced lawyers and lobbyists found that Instead of showing up at 6 a.m. to wait in line for a hearing, they could hire bicycle couriers or college students to do it for them. Weve had them there as early as 2 in the morning, said Kevin Gilead of Apple Courier service. They take their sleeping bags. The going rate ranges from $22 to about $40 an hour; the placeholder gets about half, with the other half going to the courier or line-standing service that employs him. Chalk it up to good old capitalism: A need emerges, and an entrepreneur fills it. Business has been booming this year with hearings on hot topics that draw capacity crowds, such as health reform and telecommunications. Invariably, those who dont come early are left standing outside. But where theres money to be made, Competition can drive people to cut ethical comers. Police have been interviewing witnesses for several weeks to determine whether some have gained unfair advantage by hiring insiders congressional employees to get in line early, before Capitol Hill office buildings are opened to the public. It could be a violation of congressional ethics rules for an employee to use an official identification card to gain access to an office building for the purpose of earning outside income. House rules, for example, ban outside work if the employment is gained through the improper use of (an employees) official position. The criminal investigation was first reported Thursday in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. Chris Van Horn, owner of the CVK Group, which provides OEM nisi mdJ Bidden security microphones : ; becoming common at fast-food, convenience stores - By Hillary Chur ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER ' - ONCORD, NJK. At ' some Dunkin' Donuts the walls have' So the next time , you settle down over coffee and a cruller to trade gossip with a , friend, keep in mind that hidden , microphones may be recording the dirt you dish, - Company officials insist theyre not being nosy. Its just , another way to increase security , , and keep employees on their toes, they say, ' Use of concealed recorders is , widespread at fast-food restau-. .rants, convenience stores and , other businesses, according to one company that sells them. But unlike anti-shoplifting -mirrors and surveillance cam- eras seen throughout retail America these days, hidden microphones are news to most of : the public, judging from inter-views Thursday at two microphone-equipped Dunkin' Donuts In New Hampshires capital. Knowing this, I would never , have a conversation in here, said customer Frank Bowser, a private investigator who was discussing a case with a partner. I think the general public would be in an uproar to know that every time they come in for a cup of coffee and a doughnut they could be heard Other customers, including Nick and Thalia Hondrogen, said they were more offended by cigarette smoke than listening , devices. , ; ' Nonetheless, they were surprised. Its like spying. It sounds like Nazism or the KGB. Its not 'American, Hondrogen said. Many times you say things to - ' , ' , close friends you don't want overheard. ' The systems also were news unwelcome, at that at Dunkin Donuts corporate headquarters in Randolph, Mass, Any system powerful enough to record customers conversations would be highly inappropriate and a violation of company , policy, spokesman Bill Chiccarelli said. ' Still, store owners are using them. Security systems dealer Jeff Meuse told the Concord Monitor he has installed systems in 500 Dunkin' Donuts in Massachusetts in the last five years; of those, 300 had audio " monitoring. Shops that have the monitoring systems display small stickers on their doors , saying, Audio monitoring on the premises. ' All but the loudest customers are safe with many systems. At another Dunkin Donuts, manager Tony Wright demon i y i tjptthijht i JIM COLE i ASSOCIATED PHESS PHOTOGRAPHER - Dunkin' Donuts manager Tony Wright stands next to hts video monitor used in his Concord, N.H., store. Me says the monitor picks up audio and video inside the store for surveillance and protection of the store and Its customers. strated that a customer standing at the counter helow the single mike in the ceiling had to speak loudly and distinctly to be heard above the din of coffee grinders, staff and general restaurant noise. , Wright said he wouldnt listen to customers even if he could..; Do you think I would waste my time? he said, - Range of 20 feet The systems can be far more sophisticated, however. "LeWis Weiss, chief executive officer of Louroe Electronics Inc, of Van Nuys, Calif., said his companys systems can pick up conversations within 30 feet. Unfortunately, this Is going to be the : future until we get to the point where there is minimal crime in this country, Weiss said. "Until then, store owners are going to have to have these devices to protect their employees and their customers." . ' The American Civil Liberties Union grudgingly accepts surveillance cameras and audio equipment at store and restaurant cash registers, providing customers and staff are notified, , . We would prefer not to see them at all, but if and when it does happen, we would strongly (want) there to be actual and functional notification," ACLU spokesman Milind Shah said In New York. Often a sign on the door is not enough. Federal law requires stores to post signs Informing customers they might be monitored, and customers should take notice, Weiss said. There is no invasion of privacy in a public store like a Circle K or a Dunkin Donuts because you cant carry on a private conversation there, he said. placeholding services to lobbyists and law firms, said his company had complained to police that his people had often entered office buildings when they open at 7 a.m. only to find as many as 10 people already id line ahead of them for a hearing.; The whole point is to get into the hearing room, and there is limited space. Having those first 10 or 15 spots in line, those are definitely choice spots, and clients will go with the service that will get them a better space. ... Ive lost business, Van Horn said. 1 Wal-Mart changes j slogan I By Skip Wollmbarg ASSOCIATED PRESSWRITER NEW YORK Wharrdifier-ence a word makes. Prodded by an advertising watchdog panel, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. agreed Wednesday to change Its slogan Always the low pried. Always because it could mislead shoppers. ' It will drop the word the. ' The revised slogan is Always Low Prices. Always Wal-Mart" said company spokeswoman Jane Arend. - The National Advertising Review Board panel, acting on h complaint by several retailers, said the old slogan may suggest Tu he review board found that the slogan may mislead customers. that Wal-Mart customers always get the lowest price instead of lowprice.. . The Bentonville, Ark., -based Wal-Mart, the nations largest retailer, denied that the 5-yeai; old slogan was misleading, but agreed to change it in deference to the industrys system of self-regulation involving advertising claims. Wal-Mart also noted that it matches or beats competitors; prices when customers provide evidence. f The new slogan will be phased in during the next several months, replacing the old slogan in ads, stores, on shopping bags snack-bar napkins and delivery trucks. 1 Ms. Arend declined to estimate how much the revisions would cost. She said the new slogan already has been Used for a year in some of its newspaper and TY ads. A group representing severed local Better Business Bureaus and Wal-Mart rivals Target Stores and Vision World Inci complained last year to the Na- tional Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, which initially hears such complaints. j The council sided with Wal-Mart, but on appeal the review board found that the slogan may mislead customers. ' . - , . b. Wal-Mart has expanded rapidly over the past few years, vaulting past longtime industry leader Sears, Roebuck and Co. to become the nations biggest re tailer. It has 2,043 stores nation wi Teamsters board considers disbanding regional conferences By Robert Naylor Jr. ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER WASHINGTON Teamsters Board members are considering a request from their president to disband the embattled unions four regional U.S. conferences. Ron Carey, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, proposed in March abolishing the conferences, whose leaders have been a persistent source of opposition to his reorganization efforts. Conference officials were arguing Thursday against Careys , proposal during a closed-door hearing, a day after Carey outlined his reasons for wanting to dismantle the conferences. Conference leaders said they were being subjected to a first-class hanging at Careys hands. Carey said the conferences were "not a logical structure to serve our members and support our local unions, and that they were neither democratic nor accountable to the unions rank- and-file. They are a structure that wastes members' money, he said in a written proposal to the 19-member executive board. Their lack of accountability over the years made them fertile ground for corruption and mob influence. Each of the four U,S. regional conferences, which coordinate organizing and collective bar gaining efforts in their regions; is headed by a Carey foe. ; Carey has insisted that hi aim in seeking to dissolve the regional conferences is tot streamline the struggling union's structure and save money, . I h h - b

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