DANVILLE, VA. -- Members of the United Steelworkers of America have accepted the final contract offered by Disston Inc., apparently ending a six-month strike against the hardware manufacturer.
Federal mediator Phil Bradley and Jerry Slocum, senior vice president of operations at Disston, said Saturday that they had received word last week that USW Local 6198 had accepted the terms of a new three-year contract the company last offered in May.
The company offered hourly wage increases of 20 cents the first year, followed by an annual 10-cent increase the next two years, Bradley said.
In addition, Disston requested that employes pay $5 per week for medical insurance and $3 per week for dependent coverage.
The union wanted more money in wages but was not specific, Bradley said. As well as objecting to the fees for medical insurance and dependent coverage, the union wanted to raise the pension fund from $11 to $13 per month for each year of service.
Slocum said the company plans to meet with union representatives possibly as early as Monday.
Neither Guy Hartless, a staff representative of the Steel Workers, nor James Reynolds, president of Local 6198, could be reached for comment.
Slocum said it was too early to predict if Disston would rehire the 250 striking workers, but employes brought in to replace the strikers will keep their jobs.
During the strike, union members have been getting by with money from a strike defense fund, temporary jobs and assistance from district and local supporters.
Disston's Danville plant manufactures hand and circular saws, rakes, toolboxes and other hardwar