Workers approve pact with new owner of Nikiski fertilizer plant

Posted: Friday, April 07, 2000

NIKISKI (AP) -- Members of the union representing workers at the big fertilizer plant here have approved an agreement with the company buying the plant from Unocal Corp.

The Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union said members have approved an agreement with Agrium Inc. that includes a continuation of current contracts and retains all the workers in the bargaining unit.

About 170 people are affected.

Unocal is selling its entire fertilizer operation to Agrium of Calgary, Canada, for $325 million in cash and stock.

Randy Knowles, president of the union's Kenai local, said several issues remained on the table, but the agreement allayed fears of potential layoffs.

Knowles said he does not anticipate major changes under Agrium ownership.

But workers still have concerns about unresolved retirement and health benefit details, he said.

All the arrangements are tentative until the ownership transfer is complete, which requires approval from the Federal Trade Commission. A decision is expected by this summer.

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