Federal Judges Granted More Power in Labor Dispute Cases

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Federal Judges Granted More Power in Labor Dispute Cases WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court Monday gave federal judges more power to decide lawsuits stemming from labor disputes. The court unanimously reinstated a suit by two workers fired by a Michigan company, Ring Screw Works. The workers sued after losing grievances against the company.

Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the court, said the federal Labor Relations Management Act gives judges authority to rule in such cases unless the collective bargaining agreement between a union and management expressly forbids it. Arthur Groves was fired by Ring Screw Works for allegedly excessive unexcused absences from work. Bobby Evans was dismissed for allegedly falsifying company records. Both men denied the charges but lost grievance complaints against the company. They then sued the firm for firing them without due cause in violation of the Labor Relations Management Act.

Southwestern Bell Wins Interest in Mexican Phone Monopoly MEXICO CITY - An international group that includes St. Louis-based Southwestern Bell Corp. has won a controlling interest in Mexico's telephone monopoly, one of the largest concerns being sold in a privatization drive. The Mexican Finance Ministry on Sunday announced the winning $1.76 billion bid of the consortium, which is led by Mexico's Grupo Carso and also includes France Cable & Radio.

The group will get 20.4 percent of the company, which is trying to modernize and expand an aging system that now serves 4.1 million customers in this rapidly growing country of some 84 million people.

Unocal Discovers Natural Gas in Gulf of Mexico LOS ANGELES - Unocal Exploration Corp. has discovered natural gas in a deep pool test at West Cameron Block 196 in the Gulf of Mexico offshore Louisiana. The OCS-G 5292 No. A-4 well was tested in a middle Miocene zone between depths of 14,522 and 14,576 feet. It produced 11.3 million cubic feet of gas and 212 barrels of condensate per day through a 13/64-inch choke at a flowing tubing pressure of 11,250 pounds per square inch. Two other middle Miocene zones remain to be tested.

The deep pool exploration well was drilled from a platform installed earlier this year over two wells which had been drilled into a shallower pool where a discovery was made in 1988. Production is expected to begin sometime this month.

Texaco Subsidiary Forms Farmout Agreement HOUSTON - A Texaco subsidiary has formed a farmout agreement with another firm, subject to ratification by the Tunisian Parliament. Randal McDonald, president of Conquest Exploration Co., and C. Robert Black, president of Texaco Latin America/West Africa jointly announced the farmout agreement Monday between Conquest Exploration Tunisia Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Conquest, and Texaco Exploration El Jem Tunisia Inc., a wholly owned subsidiaries of Texaco Latin America/West Africa.

The agreement provides that Texaco will acquire a 60 percent interest and operatorship in Conquest's El Jem block, onshore Tunisia. The block is located 150 kilometers south of the capital, Tunis, encompassing approximately 987,000 acres. Under the terms of the agreement, Texaco will assume the cost of drilling one or more exploratory wells and will fund the acquisition of a seismic program during an initial three-year exploratory period. …