Times Staff and Wire Reports

Staley Union Members Ratify Contract: The ratification by locked-out union workers at A.E. Staley Mfg. Co. ends a labor dispute that dates to 1992 when the United Paperworkers International Union rejected a proposed contract. Officials of the Paperworkers union say the pact was approved by a 285-226 vote. Workers will have 45 days to decide whether they want to return to work or accept severance packages. Leaders of Local 7837 decided last week not to refer the contract to members but were overruled by the union president. Decatur, Ill.-based Staley, which makes animal feed and sweeteners from corn, locked out about 750 union members on June 27, 1993. It has been operating with replacement workers since then.

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