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Machinists Vote On Hawker Beechcraft Contract

Striking machinists at Hawker Beechcraft have voted in favor of a new contract that will get them back to work next week.

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Striking machinists at Hawker Beechcraft Corp. have voted in favor of a new contract that will get them back to work next week.

Union members have been on strike since Aug. 2 at plants in Wichita and Salina. The new contract won approval with 77 percent of the vote Thursday afternoon, and workers are to start returning to their jobs on Tuesday.

Machinists spokesman Bob Wood said the union received important and substantial improvements, and that leadership had recommended approval.

The union says the new deal freezes vision and dental health care costs, meaning the 4 percent hike in wages won't be eaten up by health care premiums. The company also made improvements to pensions, overtime and other contract provisions.

The contract covers about 4,700 hourly workers at the Wichita plant and 500 in Salina.

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