AMTA works with SiteSafe to coordinate ATA frequency The American Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) is trying its hand at frequency coordination, in addition to getting involved in the upcoming 700MHz guard band auction by offering services through a Web site. Whether AMTA will attempt to become a guard band manager remains to be seen, however.
AMTA is assuming frequency coordination responsibilities for the American Trucking Association (ATA). AMTA has also entered into an agreement with SiteSafe, Arlington, VA, and its subsidiary Biby Engineering Services to provide this coordination and other engineering services.
The agreement between ATA and AMTA will shift coordination responsibilities on an interim basis. The two associations plan to file with the FCC for permanent transfer of ATA’s certification as a frequency advisory committee.
AMTA and SiteSafe will also offer a variety of engineering services through a Web site, guardbandmanager.com. These services, along with FCC rules and auction procedures, will be posted on the site to assist participants in the FCC’s 700MHz guard band auction, which will be held Sept. 6, 2000. The site will also feature information on other system development services available through SiteSafe.
“SiteSafe is delighted to be associated with AMTA. The online frequency coordination service from our partnership with AMTA will be equal to or superior to that of other coordination services,” said Wesley McGee, president of SiteSafe.
The new services will provide coordination processing and information to clients to help make business decisions. Analyses of FCC license applications as well as electronic filing through AMTA’s Web site will also be offered.
Nextel Communications faces possible racial, sexual discrimination suits (WirelessClick) – As of June 20, more than 300 current and former Nextel Communications employees were accusing Nextel of racial and sexual discrimination and planned to file 25 lawsuits against the company with the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, The New York Times reported.
Citing lawyers representing the employees, the Times said 25 lawsuits would be filed against Nextel on behalf of workers in Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee. The lawyers also planned on filing an additional 302 complaints from workers in other states at a rate of 50 per week until all have entered the courts, according to the Times. The allegations were raised by about 2% of Nextel’s 15,000-person workforce.
The lawyers from Leeds, Morelli & Brown said they planned to seek millions of dollar in damages from Nextel, topping Texaco’s $176 million racial bias settlement in 1996, according to Reuters.
In a copy of one of the complaints released to Reuters, a Hispanic male employee alleged his white supervisors called him “gang banger,” “spic” and “thug.” The employee contended he went on disability for several weeks due to emotional trauma and depression after less-experienced white coworkers received promotions or transfers.
Nextel issued a statement on June 20, saying that the company could not comment on allegations until the complaints were filed before the EEOC.
“Nextel cannot comment on any specific allegations until all the relevant facts are gathered and assessed, and although we have repeatedly requested the law firm of Leeds, Morelli & Brown to provide us with information regarding these claims, we are awaiting receipt of the complaints …,” the statement read. “We will conduct a thorough investigation of those allegations once we have received the information we need to do so.”
The statement further said that Nextel had repeatedly tried to cooperate with the lawyers on the case, but Leeds, Morelli & Brown had demanded Nextel pay “outrageous” legal fees while refusing to disclose any information about the complaints.
The lawyers told the Times that they intended to seek the EEOC’s permission to file suit against the company under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and also plan on seeking class-action status for their clients. The lawyers added that they planned to ask the court to require Nextel to adopt sensitivity training and diversity programs. -Kevin Fitchard
A.C. Simmonds & Sons sold to DCS Electronics Plans by Simmonds Capital Ltd. (SCL) to sell its A.C. Simmonds & Sons manufacturer’s stocking representative division to senior managers of its SCL Electronics subsidiary, employees of the division and other investors, have fallen through. Instead, SCL is selling its division in two parts and has accepted an offer for the division’s industrial electronics components distribution business.
The buyer, DCS Electronics, will acquire the A.C. Simmonds & Sons trade name, assume outstanding sales contract responsibilities and purchase any of the division’s remaining industrial product inventory on a consignment basis. DCS Electronics expects to retain the division’s most experienced employees. The purchase price will be paid by a five-year secured promissory note and cash as the inventory is sold.
DCS Electronics Ltd. is a manufacturers’ representative in Ajax, Ontario (Toronto) with offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax. DCS Electronics is owned by David C. Simmonds and his son, Paul T. Simmonds. David Simmonds is the grandson of A.C. Simmonds and the son of L. Claude Simmonds. He was president of A. C. Simmonds & Sons Ltd. until 1994 when he began DCS Electronics. DCS Electronics represents several lines formerly represented by A. C. Simmonds & Sons Ltd., including Mallory and Guardian. Together, A. C. Simmonds & Sons Ltd. and DCS Electronics have represented these manufacturers for 70 years.
Referring to the earlier planned sale of the entire division, David’s brother, John Simmonds, SCL’s chief executive, said, “As we progressed, it became apparent that the employee buyout offer was not going to be able to be properly financed.”
The difficulty led to the decision to sell parts of the business separately. John Simmonds said that discussions are continuing with several potential purchasers of Evolution Audio as a distinct business unit. It is the last of SCL’s operating businesses.
SCL is selling its operations to repay bank debt and to focus on investments and merchant banking. SCL’s investments include interactive gaming technology focused on the North American horse racing market, Internet service sites focused on home products and home service, and wireless communications. The company has its headquarters in Willowdale, Ontario (Toronto). -DB
NSA marks 60th in KC KANSAS CITY, MO – An exhibition of the latest technologies to support law enforcement and a broad-based seminar program highlighted the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) 60th annual conference here, June 17-21.
Seminar topics that touched on communications issues included federal revenue funding, alarm administration and radio interoperabilty in cases such as the Columbine incident in Colorado.
Radio industry and ancillary products exhibitors included E. F. Johnson, Motorola, Racal, Vision Software, Global Dispatch Technology, Itronix, Cerulean, Fibrebond, Positron, and TeleStatus.
Sheriff Thomas N. Faust of Arlington County, VA, became the new executive director of NSA on July 17. Faust brings to NSA over 23 years of criminal justice and law enforcement experience. He is a past president of the American Jail Association. -D.K.
Com-Net Ericsson wins Florida radio project Com-Net Ericsson Critical Radio Systems, Lynchburg, VA, has been busy in June, creating a major alliance, acquiring a data systems company and winning a major state contract.
The state of Florida Joint Task Force has awarded the Florida Satewide Radio Communications Project to Com-Net Ericsson, creating a public-private partnership for critical communications. The system, to be owned and operated by the company, will provide communications for state agencies.
Com-Net had also acquired TransTech System, Miami, as of June 16. TransTech serves as a data systems consultant and integrator of public safety, utlity and public transit. TransTech will be assimilated into Com-Net Ericsson’s new data systems function.
Com-Net formed a strategic alliance with Orbacom Systems at the beginning of June to market Orbacom’s TDM series consoles and to provide a Provoice and EDACS interface to existing TDM customers.
Relm Wireless seeks payment, wins order, withdraws Midland offer Part of Relm Wireless’ conversion from what Richard K. Laird, the company’s president, has described as “mini-conglomerate” into a focused radio communications equipment manufacturing, sales and distribution company hit a snag on June 16 when the current owner of one of Relm’s former businesses defaulted on a principal payment.
The former Relm subsidiary, a paper manufacturing business, did not pay the scheduled $400,000 of a $1.6 million outstanding principal balance on a note. Relm has accelerated the note and has demanded the full balance. Although the default will adversely affect Relm’s cash flow, a statement from the company said that it can fund working capital requirements from operations and a revolving line of credit.
A month earlier, Relm had announced that it received a $1.9 million order under an existing contract from the US Army. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2000 and continue through the first quarter of 2001.
Early in the year, Relm acquired sales and distribution rights to the Uniden private radio products and contracted Uniden America to continue their manufacture. At about the same time, the company announced plans to purchase inventory, tooling and intellectual property rights for FM two-way radio products owned by the Midland International subsidiary of Simmonds Capital Ltd. (SCL), Willowdale, Ontario, Canada, and housed at Hitachi Denshi facilities in Japan. In late June, Relm withdrew its offer, stating that the company needed to focus on building its core land mobile radio wireless business before considering any additional acquisitions.
SCL Chairman John Simmonds said, “As a significant shareholder of Relm, we understand their manage-ment’s immediate focus on achieving profitability through stabilizing their current wireless business. At SCL, we have already identified alternate opportunities to deploy our wireless assets and the Midland International intellectual property.”