Union Approves New Contract at Kennecott

Union Approves New Contract at Kennecott

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Union members have ratified a six-year contract with Kennecott Utah Copper, the United Steelworkers of America announced late Monday.

The agreement was approved by an 80 percent to 20 percent margin in a heavy turnout, the union said. The pact, negotiated by a committee representing five international unions, affects 1,300 of the company's 1,900 Salt Lake-area workers.

Kennecott president and CEO Bill Champion says the contract is "a good deal for everyone." He said an important aspect of the agreement for management will be increased flexibility in work assignments.

The deal includes an average $2.40 per hour wage gain over the period of the contract, continued health insurance for retirees and improvements in health insurance for both active and retired workers, the union and Kennecott said.

Continued health insurance for retirees had been a major issue in the negotiations.

Kennecott Utah Copper is a wholly owned subsidiary of mining conglomerate Rio Tinto of London and Melbourne, Australia, which employs about 60,000 workers globally.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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