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Shipyard Ordered to Rehire Workers

July 12, 2001

AVONDALE, La. (AP) _ A federal labor judge has ordered a Northrop Grumman Avondale shipyard in suburban New Orleans to reinstate 22 workers illegally fired between 1994 and 1997 for allegedly trying to unionize the plant.

A 275-page order issued recently by National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge Philip McLeod also requires the shipyard to pay back more than $5.4 million in related legal fees it billed to the Navy and to compensate all displaced workers for lost pay and benefits.

Den Knecht, a Northrop Grumman vice president, said the company disagrees with the order and executives are considering a possible appeal.

Metal Trades Council attorney William Lurye called the order a ``clear vindication″ of the shipyard workers.

``This decision sends an unmistakable signal that this conduct should never have occurred and will not be tolerated,″ he said.

Avondale was bought by Litton Industries in August 1999, and it became a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corp. in April when the huge defense contractor purchased Litton.

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