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American Airlines pilots reject contract

From Wire Reports

DALLAS – The pilots’ union at American Airlines has rejected the company’s latest contract offer. The move could clear the way for a judge to decide whether American can impose its own cost-cutting terms, including layoffs.

The union board voted 11-5 on Wednesday to reject the company’s offer.

A federal bankruptcy judge is scheduled to rule Friday on whether American can break its current contracts with pilots and other union workers.

American and parent AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in November.

Blackberry maker laying off employees

TORONTO – Struggling BlackBerry maker Research In Motion said Wednesday it has started laying off employees as part of a restructuring plan aimed at saving about $1 billion this year.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said it has “reduced some positions as part of its program and may continue to do so as the company methodically works through a review of the business.”

RIM declined to provide numbers, but will offer an update when it reports quarterly financial results on June 28. RIM had about 16,500 employees in early May. The company cut 2,000 jobs last July.

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said he expects RIM to cut about 6,000 employees.

NEW YORK – Starbucks Corp. is planning to open its first Tazo tea shop this fall, in yet another move to expand beyond its ubiquitous coffee shops.

The Seattle-based cafe chain says the store will open near its headquarters and will include a tea bar where customers can blend their own tea mixes with the help of a store worker the company is calling a “tea partner.”

The store will offer more than 80 varieties of loose-leaf tea, tea lattes and iced teas, as well as packaged chocolates, infused sugars and honeys. Pastries and other food will also be served, as in the company’s coffee shops.

P&G lowers forecast for earnings, revenue

NEW YORK – Procter & Gamble Co. on Wednesday lowered its fourth-quarter earnings and revenue forecasts, the latest company to sound warning bells about slowing global economic growth.

P&G, which makes an array of everyday goods ranging from Tide detergent to Gillette razors, said it is cutting the forecast because of unfavorable foreign exchange rates, continued slow growth in developed markets and a slowdown of growth in China.

The company is trying to balance growth in emerging markets, which make up about 30 percent of its sales, with the realities of an uncertain global economy and its own executional problems that have led to lackluster market share growth.

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