Shipyard Union Keeps Working, But Prepares For Strike

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — After rejecting a contract offer, Newport News Shipbuilding’s biggest union will keep working, but United Steelworkers Local 8888 leaders are outlining strike preparations if negotiations don’t lead to an agreement.

Union spokesman Dwight Kirk said leaders outlined the process that would be followed and decisions needed for any action to members at a meeting Saturday, The Virginian-Pilot reported. The meeting also was a chance for union members to clarify key issues they want addressed in any future contract.

Members rejected a tentative contract agreement by a 1312-684 vote last week. The proposal had a 60-month term, with annual pay increases, a $2,500 bonus and improvements to pension plans.

The union and shipyard have agreed to a temporary extension of the contract that expired a week ago.

The union represents more than 10,000 of the shipyard’s 25,000 employees.