USW Local 8888 And Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyard Strike Tentative Deal On "Legacy" Contract

Contact: Dwight Kirk (202) 257-3966

Newport News, VA – United Steelworkers Local 8888 and Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyard have reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement that – if ratified – will increase wages, significantly improve pension income, contain health care costs and protect workers’ transfer rights.

If ratified by Local 8888 members, the proposed agreement will be effective October 27, 2008 and will expire March 10, 2013 (4 years and 4 months).

Local 8888 members will get their first detailed report on the tentative agreement Sunday afternoon, October 26, 2008. The mass meeting will be held at the Hampton University Convocation Center. Thousands of union members are expected to attend this much-anticipated meeting.

Fred Redmond, the union’s chief negotiator, called the tentative agreement a “legacy contract.” He said, “It’s a legacy contract because it contains a powerful mechanism to protect the economic security of current and future retirees. It is a legacy contact, too, because it holds the line on our members’ health care costs at a time when millions of American workers are drowning in medical debts. Finally, it is a legacy agreement because the compensation package does more than fatten paychecks; it assures our members will be able to enjoy a better quality of living with their families.”

Alton Glass, president of USW Local 8888, said, “This tentative agreement builds on the progress we made in our current contract, while recognizing the realities of the shipbuilding industry.” Glass added, “These were tough but respectful negotiating sessions. Our union is stronger and respect has grown for the best shipbuilders in the world.”

USW Local 8888 represents about 8,000 hourly employees at the giant shipyard. The current agreement expires at midnight tomorrow.

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