A labor dispute that goes back to a disastrous 1983 strike has been formally ended at the Fedco Automotive Components Co. with the ratification of a new union contract.
The company said the pact gives workers a package wage and benefit increase of nearly 19 percent over 2 1/2 years. It covers approximately 65 workers represented by Local 1753 of the United Steelworkers of America.
According to Timothy Brodene, Fedco vice president of operations, it increases the current average wage of approximately $6.50 an hour by approximately $1 over the life of the pact.
Brodene said the contract also increases vacation and medical insurance benefits.
It is the first general wage increase at the company since union workers struck what was then the Fedders Corp. for 10 months beginning in late 1983. When the strike ended in 1984, the workers returned to work at lower wages without a contract.
The company was purchased this spring by Brodene and G. Gary Moose, its president, who had been part of the Fedders administration since 1987 and 1986, respectively.
The new owners had said that getting a union contract was one of their prime goals in order to better employee-company relations.
Brodene said six workers were hired this month to meet increased demand for the auto heater cores that the company makes and he expects to hire six to eight additional workers in July.