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Loose change

By ALECIA SWASY, Times Business Editor
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 9, 2002

REVVING UP: General Motors Corp.'s Hummer brand may sell more than 100,000 trucks a year and be almost as profitable as the Cadillac division. Next up: the $48,800 H2 model.

PAYING UP: US Airways Inc. agreed to pay a worker $50,000 and change its policy on men's hair length to settle a government lawsuit that claimed it didn't respect the rights of a worker with Rastafarian beliefs.

LOOKING UP: Duke University's survey of 260 chief financial officers found that 10 percent of the execs think there will be solid increases in earnings over the next nine months.

MOVING UP: More than 70 cities have adopted "living wage" laws requiring companies doing business with the city to pay wages high enough to keep a family of four above the poverty line. The effective hourly wage ranges from a low of about $7, in Milwaukee, to $12, in Santa Monica, Calif.

PILING UP: Companies with 100 employees who make about $50,000 annually can expect to spend more than $400,000 a year as the result of ineffective e-mail management. Workers are inundated with so much e-mail that they lose an average of two hours from each work day.

FALLING DOWN: The amount of severance pay doled out to executives is falling. Outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. found that severance for laid-off leaders amounted to eight weeks of salary during the first quarter of 2002, down a third from a year ago.

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