Many unions seek new contracts

Like the weather, labor negotiations are heating up across the country. Chrysler Corporation and the United Automobile Workers were ''further away than pennies'' in negotiations on the union's bid for an immediate $1-an-hour wage increase for US workers, Chrysler's chief bargainer said Wednesday morning, just hours before the union's 5 p.m. deadline for completion of the talks. Thomas Miner said they were at odds over two basic issues: the amount of a raise and the length of a contract.

On the West Coast, metalworkers' unions walked off jobs in nine shipyards Tuesday in a dispute over a new contract. The strikes have shut down civilian and military work, reports Monitor labor correspondent Ed Townsend. Some 10,000 strikers from San Francisco to Seattle, members of 11 unions, called a wage offer from the Pacific Shipbuilders Association ''unrealistic'' and overwhelmingly rejected it.

Longshoremen in ports from Maine to Texas are threatening to strike this fall unless they regain control of cargo handling within a 50-mile radius of the docks. They lost this control in a lawsuit.

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