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Teamsters approve contract with Cummins Inc

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Members of Teamsters Union Local 175 who work at Cummins Incorporated in Charleston overwhelmingly ratified the company’s most recent offer of a new contract Friday.

The latest offer maintains current healthcare benefits, including deductibles and a retiree health program. The vote comes just a week after the employees unanimously rejected an offer and authorized a strike. The rejected offer, according to the union, would have changed the health care plan and increased employee deductibles to eight times the current rate. The plan would have also eliminated healthcare benefits for retirees.

“I think this shows that when our members stand together they can accomplish great things,” said Luke Farley, Teamsters 175 Business Agent. “This group sent a message to the company last week we were willing to fight to maintain the health insurance. At the end of the day the company was responsive to the message and did the right thing. I hope we will continue to have a long working relationship.”

The contact covers 35 employees of the company’s Charleston operation. Those employees went on strike in April 2007 in order to gain the current healthcare benefits. Local 175 also represents 28 employees at the Cummins shop in Fairmont. The Fairmont contract expires in May.

The workers are service and shop technicians and partsmen who work on engines, generators, and other equipment for a variety of industrial businesses in West Virginia.

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