Ingalls Workers Mixed On Final Contract Offer - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/26/03

Ingalls Workers Mixed On Final Contract Offer

Throughout the day the shipyards unions heard the company's contract offer for the next 43 months. It includes a $1.65 pay raise over that time. Monthly health insurance payments are still going up, but by a smaller amount. Workers will also get an immediate $3,000 incentive bonus. But some workers say it's not enough.

"I've seen contracts come and go but this is one of the worst that I've seen as far as health care and pay increases. What's wrong with it? We don't need a bonus. We need money in our check every week," Laura Williams says.

"I'm diabetic and I've got a daughter with chronic asthma. It's going to cost me more money just on medications," Drew Churchwell says.

"The insurance is going to eat up the amount of money that they give us," union business agent Charlie James says.

"They're not offering nothing as far as I'm concerned. Our insurance is going up. I can't afford their insurance," Larry Hataway says.

Others have mixed feelings, but say it's a better deal than before.

"It's better than the first one they offered. We might can live with it but I really don't agree on it myself," William Haggard says.

Union business agent Benny Wallace says, "I personally feel we may have could of gotten a penny or two more but right now this is the best we have offered to us."

The business agent for the electrical workers union says the dissatisfied workers should look at the total package.

"The proposal Sunday was not going to pass or be ratified so what we ended up doing by going back to the table on Tuesday was we ended up accomplishing what we did with a three week strike in '99," says Chico McGill.

The office and professional workers vote on the contract proposal Thursday. The nine unions that make up the Metal Trades Union will decide Friday and the electrical workers cast ballots Saturday.

byMarcia Hill

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