LAS VEGAS — Culinary union members began returning to work Wednesday after voting overwhelmingly to accept a new five-year contract and end a 10-week-old strike that idled more than 3,000 workers at the Nevada Test Site and the Tonopah Test Range.
The ratification vote, which had been expected, brought to eight the numbers of unions that have finalized agreements with the main contractor at the site. Two other unions have not settled but have returned to work while talks continue.
Union members voted 298 to 35 Tuesday to accept the new pact, which calls for bonuses in the first two years of the contract followed by wage increases of 40 cents an hour in the third year and 45 cents in each of the final two years.
The pact is with Reynolds Electrical & Engineering Co., the site's main contractor.
The culinary union, with 617 workers at the two facilities, was the largest union involved in the strike and was the first to go out. Union members walked off their jobs Sept. 15 after Reynolds offered a wage freeze and take-aways in contract language.
Eventually, 3,200 workers from 10 unions ended up on strike at the nation's nuclear testing facility.