About 38,000 copper workers striking nationwide will be back on the job after the July 4 weekend, thanks to a quick contract settlement with the industry's two biggest producers, union officials predicted yesterday.

Raises totalling $1 an hour over three years for employees of Kennecott Copper Corp., the No. 1 producer, and Magma Copper Co., the second biggest, were approved unanimously by negotiators Saturday night after a three-day strike.

Workers currently average just over $7 an hour. Their tentative three-year agreement calls for an 85-cent hourly wage hike plus added fringe benefits. They were idled in seven western states and at smelters in New Jersey and Baltimore.

The pact is expected to set the pattern for the entire industry, the United Steelworkers Union said. Early settlements were foreseen with the five other struck companies.

The researchers said plea-bargaining should be conducted in the open, and written records kept so the defendants and the public have a better understanding of the process.

The 21-month study was conducted by the Institute of Criminal Law and Procedure at Georgetown University Law Center, financed with $303,000 from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration.

While the isolation cell of Wilfred (Rusty) Bannister in Sarasota, Fla., was monitored by closed-circuit TV, abduction victim Charlotte Grosse, 15, vacationed in seclusion with her parents.

Firefighters dug up a smoldering forest floor near Colville, Wash., in a battle to control a line of "cauldron" like blazes over 1,600 acres that routed house and trailer residents.

Wisconsin's largest union of state employees went on strike after contract negotiations broke down; the National Guard was called out to replace guards at prisons and reformatories.

Two converted shrimp boats loaded with $11 million worth of marijuana from Colombia were seized at Key West, Fla.