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New contract signed at Pratt & Whitney
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The deal approved Sunday covers more than four thousand workers at plants in Cheshire, East Hartford and Middletown. It includes raises of three point five percent each year, and a signing bonus of three thousand dollars.

However, Pratt & Whitney will increase workers’ health insurance costs by 60 percent under the new contract, a clause that contributed to a no vote on an earlier deal in August. In return, the company has moved on job security, including language that guarantees jobs for support services like electricians and plumbers. It also puts in writing that work for the new Joint Strike Fighter and some other major future projects will be done in Connecticut.

Pratt & Whitney spokesman Matthew Perra: "We’ve got some of the best job security language in the industry, including some confirmed work here for our Connecticut facilities, and extending job security language to all of our hourly workers."

Pratt & Whitney has told the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers that it expects a heavier workload in 2008, and will require more hourly workers. The company hasn’t imposed layoffs in the last few years, but its workforce has declined through retirements and buyouts.