Union Deal: Tenet Healthcare Corp. has formed an agreement with the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers to organize bargaining units at Tenet's 40 hospitals. In return, the unions have agreed to binding arbitration and a "no strike" provision to resolve contract disputes. The California Nurses Association promptly filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board to overturn the agreement with the rival unions.

Pooh Update: Walt Disney Co. told a federal judge that the granddaughter of Winnie the Pooh's creator is entitled to reclaim U.S. merchandising rights to the children's book character. Author A.A. Milne sold the rights in 1930 to Stephen Slesinger, an agent. Stephen Slesinger Inc. has sued Burbank-based Disney in a separate proceeding, claiming the media company owes millions in unpaid royalties. Clare Milne, the granddaughter, filed suit to reclaim the rights and said Disney had made a deal with her to continue making Pooh products if she won.

Signature Count: A campaign to remove Gov. Gray Davis from office has gathered 100,000 names, the most ever in a recall campaign, and completed the first step to force a statewide vote. The recall effort needs about 900,000 valid signatures, or roughly 12 percent of the people who voted in last November's election, to qualify for a statewide ballot.

Earnings Roundup: Health Net Inc. reported first-quarter net income of $68.2 million, compared with $49.8 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Woodland Hills-based health care company rose 10 percent, to $2.7 billion. On Assignment Inc. reported a first-quarter net loss of $452,000, compared with net income of $2.9 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Calabasas-based temporary staffing company was $57.8 million vs. $42.1 million. THQ Inc. reported a fourth-quarter loss of $7.7 million, compared with net income of $2.8 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Calabasas Hills-based video-game maker fell 16 percent, to $66.8 million. Guess Inc. reported a first-quarter loss of $5.8 million, compared with a loss of $3.6 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Los Angeles-based clothing designer rose 1 percent, to $139.6 million. Edison International, parent of Southern California Edison, reported first-quarter net income of $57 million, compared with $84 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Rosemead-based utility holding company rose to $2.53 billion from $2.49 billion. Homestore Inc. reported first-quarter net income of $87.2 million, compared with a loss of $34.8 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Westlake Village-based Internet real estate company fell to $54.9 million from $74.1 million.

Grocery Buy?: Investor Ron Burkle is in talks to buy back Dominick's Supermarkets from Safeway Inc., the Los Angeles Times reported. Burkle purchased Dominick's in 1995, took the company public two years later and then sold the Chicago-area chain to Safeway for $1.2 billion plus the assumption of $646.2 million of debt.

Puppet Deal: Muppets creator Jim Henson's children will pay $78 million to buy back a piece of the puppet franchise they sold three years ago to EM.TV & Merchandising AG. The acquisition includes rights to Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog. Other Henson creations the Sesame Street characters Elmo and Big Bird have already been sold and aren't among the assets being bought back.


Earnings Due: Set to report quarterly earnings this week are Computer Sciences Corp., a member of the S & P; 500, and real estate investment trust Macerich Co. Both sets of numbers are due on Tuesday (13th).

World Gala: U.S. Secretary General Kofi Annan will deliver the keynote at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council 50th anniversary gala on Saturday (17th) at the Century Plaza Hotel. Larry King will be master of ceremonies for the event, which starts at 7 p.m. For information: 213-628-2333.

The Good Life: The Westside Urban Forum presents a forum on the nature of development in L.A. on Friday (16th) at the Regency Club, beginning at 7:45 a.m. For information: 310-394-0253.

Sports Beat: While the Lakers-Spurs series may or may not last the week, the Dodgers will be home with a three-game series with Atlanta (12th-14th) and a three-game series against Florida (16th-18th). There's also the Mighty Ducks who will be advancing to the Western Conference finals this week. For horse racing fans, it's the Preakness on Saturday (17th) from Pimlico in Baltimore.

Sol Time: The Latin Business Association presents the 27th annual Sol Business Awards on Friday (16th) in the Grand Ballroom on top of the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland. For information: 323-721-4000.

SBA Fete: The U.S. Small Business Administration, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, present its 22nd annual awards luncheon on Friday (16th) at the downtown Hyatt Regency Hotel. Keynote for the event is Maria de Lourdes Sobrino, founder and president of Lulu Dessert Corp. For information: 213-580-7500.

E3 Confab: One of the bigger technology shows, Electronic Entertainment Expo 2003, comes to the Los Angeles Convention Center this week. The conference portion is Tuesday (13th) to Thursday (15th), and the exposition Friday (16th) to Sunday (18th). There will be the usual array of video game retailers, developers, and investors. For information: 877-216-6263.

Monster Deficit: Gov. Gray Davis comes out with his May budget revise Wednesday (14th). With revenues coming in lower than expected and the Legislature slow to enact cuts, the deficit is likely to balloon as high as $40 billion. It gets worse: the state will run out of cash next month, forcing it to borrow billions of dollars to close out the fiscal year.

Anti-Poverty Rally: L.A. Mayor James Hahn, state Sen. Richard Alarcon and others will lead a rally at noon on Wednesday (14th) at City Hall to raise awareness of increasing poverty levels.

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