The nation's only machine gun maker is back in production here following a two-month strike. The strike against Maremont Corp. ended yesterday when workers decided to comply with President Carter's request for voluntary wage limits.
Union spokesman Denis Blais said the wage and benefit package is higher than Carter's recommended increases "but it was an offer made before the president's Oct. 24 speech." The 850 metal workers will get raises of 40 cents an hour, and 8 and 7 percent over three years.
The Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union rank and file adopted the same company offer they rejected two weeks ago. At that time, Maremount General Manager Berge Thomasian said workers "were intimidated by the open, voice vote." He predicted they would accept the offer during secret balloting. Yesterday's voting was secret.
Maremont's New England operation holds more than $15 million in governments contracts to build M12 machine guns. Most of the weapons are for shipment to North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries. The Maine plant was also produces a wide range of auto mufflers, electrical parts and shock absorbers.
During the strike, the firm moved much of its shock absorber equipment to other companies around the U.S. Thomasian said the move will cost as many as 100 jobs. "Those jobs may be piced up when machine gun production is increased during 1979." he said.
Union officials said the company had trouble bargaining because the Maine plant is Maremont's only union shop. The settlement ups the average worker's wage to more than $5 an hour and ends a $130,000-a-week drain on the local economy. With 1,100 workers, Maremont is one of southern Maine's major eemployers.