USW Local 8888 Ratifies New Contract With Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyard

Contact: Dwight Kirk (202) 257-3966

Newport News, VA – In the wee hours today, members of United Steelworkers Local 8888 ratified a new four-year, four-month agreement with Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyard. By a margin of 945 to 833, members said “yes” to a healthy contract in lean economic times. It includes:

  • 16.3% wage increase across the board over four years
  • Wage differential increases for numerous job classifications
  • Containment of medical/health care premiums of Local 8888 members
  • Ground-breaking improvements to the Local 8888 pension plan
  • Increased employer cap on retiree medical premium from $550 to $900
  • First paid sick/personnel leave benefit
  • Protections on workers’ transfer rights

Fred Redmond, chief negotiator for USW Local 8888, called the agreement “a legacy contract, because it assures the economic security of our members and retirees for many years to come.” Redmond, who is also the Steelworkers international vice president for human affairs, said, “It is even more impressive given the dire economic climate where jobs are being slashed, wages are being cut or frozen and pension plans are disappearing faster than John McCain’s chances of moving into the White House.”

Alton Glass, USW Local 8888 president, praised the union’s negotiations committee for “sticking together and delivering what the majority of our members said they wanted: more money in their paychecks, constraints on their medical bills, a better pension plan, more time off to take care of personal health or family issues and protections on job transfers.”

Glass said the union will now focus on educating members about the rights and the benefits they gained in the new contract. “Winning the best contract in the world won’t mean a thing if our members, officers, stewards and department representatives don’t understand how it can and will improve their lives and livelihoods.”

USW Local 8888 represents about 8,000 hourly employees at the giant shipyard. The new agreement took effect October 27, 2008.


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