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    Conn. Shaw's Employees OK Contract

    A nearly unanimous vote maintains employees' health insurance and pension plan.

    In a 300-1 vote, Connecticut Shaw's supermarket employees this week reportedly approved a four-year contract that guarantees salary raises and a $500 bonus. The contract, which took effect immediately after the vote in the wee hours of Sunday morning, covers 3,000 workers at Shaw's stores in the state.

    Brian Petronella, president of Local 371 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, told the Boston Globe that the agreement preserves the employees' health insurance and pension plan. Additionally, full-time workers will receive a raise of $70 a week over the duration of the contract, while part-timers will get $1 an hour increase during that time.

    "Everyone is happy," Petronella remarked to the newpaper.

    That would include management as well. "We are pleased that both sides worked together to reach agreement on a contract that balances the needs of our associates, our customers and our company in today's competitive environment," noted Shaw's president Larry Walhstrom in a statement.

    The turnout for the vote, about 10 percent of membership, was partly attributable to the fact that many UFCW members were at work on the busiest supermarket-shopping day of the week, Petronella told the paper.

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