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Shipbuilders Approve New 49-Month Pact

From a Times Staff Writer

Striking unions have approved a new 49-month contract with the National Steel & Shipbuilding Co., ending a three-week strike at the San Diego shipyard. About 1,000 striking workers are scheduled to return to their jobs on Tuesday.

The six unions walked out on Aug. 10 after rejecting three contracts in the last year. The old contract expired on Sept. 30, and a dispute quickly arose over wages and job security.

Under the new contract, approved with a 66% majority, journeymen wages were set at $11.40 an hour. There will be two hourly pay raises of 25 cents each in the final two years of the contract.

But even with the pay increase, journeymen will still be earning less than when the old contract expired. Last October, Nassco unilaterally cut wages from 17% to 50%.

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