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CALIFORNIA | BRIEFLY / SHIPBUILDING

New Talks Set for Newport News, Union

May 21, 1999|Bloomberg News

Newport News Shipbuilding Inc., the largest maker of nuclear aircraft carriers, said it will meet with striking union workers on Monday for the first time in more than six weeks. Federal mediators called the meeting, which will be the first since the strike began. Union negotiators rejected the company's contract offer March 30, and Newport News said it received a letter from the union saying that it is willing to modify its position. About half of the shipyard's workers, or about 9,200 hourly employees, went on strike April 5, mainly over wages and benefits. "We hope there can be a settlement reached within the competitive framework in which we operate," said Newport News spokeswoman Jerri Dickseski. A union spokesman wasn't immediately available to comment. Newport News shares closed unchanged at $33 on the NYSE.

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