A majority of unions at Ingalls Shipyard turned down a 3 1/2 year contract proposal Friday. About 1200 members voted for the contract, but almost 1650 said no to the proposal. The contract would have raised pay more than $1.20 per hours over the life of the contract, and also provided for 5000 dollars in bonus payments. But substantial increases in health insurance premiums apparently was too much for Ingalls workers to approve. Another union votes today and another rejection could lead to the second strike at Ingalls in the past three years.
There are several options now. Workers could vote to extend the current contract and keep working, or go on strike as soon as Monday morning. Or a federal mediator could order both sides back to the bargaining table as soon as this weekend.