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Union members approve Va. shipyard contract

Thursday - 3/14/2013, 10:40am  ET

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) -- Nearly 11,000 union workers at Newport News Shipbuilding have a new 52-month contract with Huntington Ingalls.

Huntington Ingalls said Thursday that members of United Steelworkers Local 8888 voted 1,914 to 104 to approve the contract.

The new contract is effective immediately.

Local 8888 says the contract increases wages by an average $16,400 over its term. Employees' health care premiums will be reduced by 15 percent. There also are improvements in pensions and promotional opportunities.

Newport News Shipyard vice president Bill Bell says in a news release that the contract is fair and competitive in the industry.

Huntington Ingalls is the nation's largest military shipbuilder and Virginia's largest industrial employer. Its Newport News Shipbuilding unit is the nation's only builder of aircraft carriers and one of two submarine builders.

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