Among other items: Boeing revised the fourth-quarter charge it will take for canceling its 717 aircraft model to a pretax expense of $280 million, down from the $340 million that was reported last week; Airbus has offered China's aerospace industry a risk-sharing partnership role in its A350 program; and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is closing...

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Pacific Northwest

Cingular Wireless said yesterday it was laying off up to 88 people in Washington as part of its merger with Redmond-based AT&T Wireless.

This is the second wave of cutbacks here as the combined company seeks to reduce its 68,000 head count by about 10 percent.

Atlanta-based Cingular, which is the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., is slowly integrating the two companies’ workforces from the top down. This layoff affected manager-level employees, according to Anne Marshall, a Cingular spokeswoman.

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The last day for employees who received notice earlier this week will be in about 60 days or March 18. Two weeks ago, Cingular gave notice to about 155 high-level employees who will start leaving as early as March 7 but could stay up to 18 months, according to the company.

The cuts are coming from AT&T Wireless’ former headquarters in Redmond, as well as its Bothell and Seattle offices, and are part of a nationwide reduction. Marshall declined to say how many people have been cut elsewhere.

AT&T Wireless had about 31,000 employees in the United States and about 5,700 in Washington.

Boeing defers some 717 charges to 2005

Boeing revised the fourth-quarter charge it will take for canceling its 717 aircraft model to a pretax expense of $280 million, down from the $340 million that was reported last week.

Boeing will account for the remaining $60 million in pension costs for the halt in 2005 instead of the fourth quarter of 2004, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The revision, which doesn’t affect the total cost to stop production, was made to comply with pension accounting rules, Boeing spokeswoman Anne Eisele said.

Boeing is halting production of the 100-seat aircraft in Long Beach, Calif., because of a lack of orders. Total cash spending for the halt will be $385 million through 2007, the company said in the filing.

China asked to be Airbus risk-sharing partner

Airbus has offered China’s aerospace industry a risk-sharing partnership role in its A350 program. The A350 is a proposed new Airbus jet that will compete with Boeing’s 7E7.

“We’ve offered China a 5 percent risk-sharing stake in the development of the A350,” Airbus Chief Executive Noël Forgeard told trade magazine Flight International.

He said talks are under way with China’s two major aviation manufacturers to supply parts.

Forgeard also said that by 2006, Airbus’ outsourcing to China will have increased fourfold since 2000, and it will double again by 2010.

Seattle Genetics awarded patents for antibody work

Seattle Genetics said yesterday that it has been awarded two U.S. patents that give it exclusive rights to develop its SGN-40 experimental drug program.

The patents cover the company’s SGN-40 antibody and its use as a cancer treatment that hones in on a biological marker called CD-40.

Nation/world

Waksal pair to pay $5 million settlement in ImClone Systems civil case

Sam Waksal, the imprisoned ImClone Systems founder at the center of an insider-trading scandal that ensnared Martha Stewart, and his father Jack Waksal have agreed to pay a total of some $5 million in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve civil charges in the case, regulators announced yesterday.

Sam Waksal pleaded guilty in late 2002 to securities fraud for tipping his daughter, Aliza, to dump ImClone stock just before the Food and Drug Administration publicly announced it was refusing to accept the company’s application to market the colon-cancer drug Erbitux. He is serving a seven-year, three-month sentence at a federal prison in Pennsylvania.

Martha Stewart Living to halt money-losing catalog

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, whose founder is serving time in prison for obstructing justice, is closing its money-losing catalog business in February.

The company, announcing what it called “our final sale” on its Web site, offered no explanation for the action.

Martha Stewart Living will continue to offer Martha Stewart Everyday merchandise through Kmart’s stores, the company said.

Quebec Wal-Mart employees win right to bargain

Employees at a second Quebec outlet of Wal-Mart won the right to bargain with the world’s largest retailer after the province’s labor board approved their entry into a union.

Quebec’s Labor Relations Commission set aside the company’s objections in ruling that a majority of the 200 workers at the St. Hyacinthe store had signed union cards and could open negotiations, the United Food and Commercial Workers union said yesterday in a statement.

The company has opposed unions in its U.S. stores.

Separately, Wal-Mart will team up with CITIC Pacific to open hundreds of stores in China, a booming but increasingly competitive market, over the next five years, the Beijing-backed conglomerate said yesterday.

Wal-Mart opened its first China outlet in 1996. It now has more than 40 stores in the country, which has a $240 billion retail market, Asia’s largest after Japan.

Compiled from Seattle Times staff, The Associated Press, Bloomberg News and Reuters