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United Space Alliance Workers Strike Ends

Health Benefits Increased 50 Percent

Shuttle workers and the United Space Alliance finalized an agreement Sunday, ending a five-month strike.

The disagreement over health and pension benefits began on June 14 between the workers and the alliance, according to WESH-2 in Orlando.

"There's equal amounts of anger, disappointment, and relief," United Space Alliance Worker Lew Jamieson said. "We stayed out here for a long time for what we believed in. We got some of that but we didn't get everything that we had hoped for. We were looking for some monetary improvements in that package and we didn't get all of that."

Although health benefits have increased by 50 percent, the new contract is substandard, according to Jamieson. "The major differences are the pension and the cost of the health insurance but basically it's the pension," he said.

As ANN reported, technicians, mechanics, machinists, crane workers and painters participated in the strike, that included workers picketing seven days a week.

"I didn't want to be out at all and I didn't want to be as long as we were out. This is not the way I wanted to go back to work," USA worker Lynn Beattie said.

Workers who had suffered financially said they were happy to go back to work.

United Space Alliance said the worker's health care plan was excellent, and that the new agreement is competitive for its market.

The contract terminates in 2010 when the space shuttle program is finished.

FMI: www.unitedspacealliance.com/

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