NEW YORK -- The Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union strike against Healthtex Inc., the children's apparel manufacturing unit of VF Corp., ended Thursday with union ratification of a new three-year contract.

About 1,200 ACTWU members struck Healthtex Monday, claiming the company had reneged on a promise to abide by an arbitrator's decision that Healthtex could not reduce jobs at unionized plants at Danville, Va.; Centreville, Ala., and Warrenton, Ga. The old contract expired Saturday.

The new pact says Healthtex may not subcontract manufacturing work to other domestic or foreign facilities unless employees at the three unionized plants are all working. In addition, all current employees are protected from subcontracting-related layoffs for the life of the agreement.

Other provisions include:

  • An 8.5 percent increase in pay over the life of the contract.

  • A 5 percent increase in health insurance and disability payments.

  • Promotion considered on the basis of seniority. Under the old contract, experience in a particular task was prerequisite.

  • Earlier vacation pay eligibility, and improvement in bereavement time off and pay.

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