Early Briefing: Grocery Talks Continue
*Giant and Safeway are still in talks with the United Food and Commercial Workers over a new contract; the old one expires at midnight tonight. The union has been rallying public support, and talks are expected to continue through the weekend.
*The D.C. rent administrator has rejected a deal between B.F. Saul Co. and tenants at the Kennedy-Warren apartment building on Connecticut Avenue NW that allowed most tenants in the historic section of the building to avoid rent increases. In exchange, B.F. Saul got the right to raise rents to market rates in empty apartments. But Grayce Wiggins, the city's rent administrator, found on March 24 that the agreement was "patently coercive," punishing tenants who had refused to sign by not allowing them to lock in their rental rates.
*Lockheed Martin beat out Boeing to win a $766.2 million contract, called the Joint Tactical Radio System, to replace the radio systems for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine troops, giving them one system that transmits video, conversations and other data. The Bethesda-based contractor also won a deal to sell six of its C-130J transport aircraft to India, plus spare parts and logistics support.
*Legg Mason of Baltimore, whose closed-end funds have issued $672 million of auction-rate preferred shares, is exploring options that would allow investors to sell the securities despite the freeze in the market. Closed-end fund used the auction-rate market to finance additional investments in government and corporate bonds, a strategy aimed at boosting returns.
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