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The Nation

The 101-year-old Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Me., was silent as 4,500 workers prepared to vote today on a new contract proposed by the company. Bath officials, contending they face a high rate of worker absenteeism in the face of strong competition in the U.S. shipbuilding industry, last week closed the yard, a ship-repair facility in Portland and a metal-working plant in Brunswick, pending the vote. The old contract expires at midnight tonight. The company offer would freeze wages for three years, cut health benefits, liberalize job assignments and establish a reduced pay scale for new employees.


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