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Wednesday, August 9, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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BUSINESS BRIEFS

More than 50 laid off at ePods

Seattle Times staff and news services

SEATTLE--More than 50 employees at ePods, a Seattle-based start-up developing Internetaccess devices, were laid off yesterday, a move that eliminated the majority of the staff.

"It comes down to the issue of funding," said Laura Moix, company spokeswoman. "We had to pare down to the bare mininum to continue to execute the business model."

The employees were let go from most departments, sparing just a few senior managers and the technical division. The majority of the cuts were made in human resources, finance, marketing and graphics.

The company's idea was to create devices called Net appliances and an Internet portal to make surfing the Web simpler. In June, ePods eliminated 24 jobs to cut costs and was to re-evaluate its business model. At the time, the cuts represented 20 percent of the staff.

The product is to be distributed by ePods financial backer Salton, a leading marketer of housewares such as the George Foreman grill, Breadman and Juiceman.

Strike leader elected

in Teamsters vote

YAKIMA--A leader in the wildcat strike at meatpacker IBP's Wallula plant has been elected secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 556.

The monthlong strike last summer by 1,300 workers -- mostly Latino immigrants and many female -- over wages and working conditions exposed deep divisions within the local.

After the local accepted a contract with IBP, Maria Martinez, backed by the splinter Teamsters for a Democratic Union, and others accused leadership of bargaining away their rights.

In balloting Monday, Martinez, on the Members' Voice Slate, defeated Victor Serna, who ran on the Unity Slate.

The vote was 570-192, Teamsters for a Democratic Union said.

Management changes

announced at Airborne

SEATTLE--Bob Brazier, president and chief operating officer of Airborne Freight, was named vice chairman of the board, and Carl Donaway, senior executive vice president for field and air services, will take over as president and chief operating officer, company officials said yesterday.

The management changes come as Seattle-based Airborne Freight struggles to find its financial footing. The country's third-largest express-delivery service's second-quarter profit fell 49 percent to $13.8 million.

Financial-news site

receives $7.5 million

WASHINGTON--The-

Street.com got a $7.5 million investment from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures and Seattle-based Go2Net, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

On Monday, TheStreet.com sold a total of 1.3 million shares to the two for $5.56 a share.

New York-based TheStreet.com, an Internet financial-news site, also announced that it struck a licensing agreement with Go2Net, which is backed by Allen. The agreement lets TheStreet.com's readers use Go2Net's technology platform that runs Go2Net's Silicon Investor discussion boards.

Teamsters oppose Airbus jetliner plan

WASHINGTON - Airbus Industrie's plans for a new 380-seat jetliner face opposition from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which claims the plane's exits will be located too far apart to be safe.

The union said it sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration urging the agency to deny Airbus an exemption from a rule requiring no more than 60 feet between exits on an aircraft. The union represents 11,000 aviation workers.

- Seattle Times staff and news services

Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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