NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) —  Newport News Shipbuilding has reached a tentative five-year contract with its biggest union.

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On January 29, officials with United Steelworkers local chapter 8888 said they had reached a new agreement with Huntington Ingalls Industries on a 60-month contract. The agreement was made following several “intense” meetings.

“This is a solid contract with the improvements we fought hard to win,” said Charles Spivey, Local 8888 president. “I believe this is the best deal we could bring back to our membership at this time. We stood our ground to be treated and rewarded as Essential Shipbuilders.”

The union members will be asked to vote on the agreement, which would last five years and includes wage increases and pension improvements among other items. No date has been set for a members-only ratification vote.

Newport News Shipbuilding released the following statement:

“Working diligently with the United Steelworker leadership negotiation team we reached a tentative agreement Friday, Jan. 28.  In the coming week, we will post the tentative agreement terms, including wage, health care, and pension information to ensure all employees have a complete and accurate understanding of the agreement prior to the upcoming employee vote.  Meanwhile, we are pleased that the union is continuing to honor all current contract terms and conditions and that we continue to meet our mission in building ships for the U.S. Navy.”  

Danny Hernandez, Newport News Shipbuilding Spokesperson

This agreement comes nearly three months after members of United Steelworkers Local 8888 voted down a previous tentative five-year collective bargaining agreement. According to a Facebook post, that vote received a total of 1,996 votes – 1,312 people voted no and 684 voted yes.

Newport News Shipbuilding is Virginia’s largest industrial employer and a key player in the Navy’s modernization efforts. There are 12,000 workers in the collective bargaining union.