BATH

Government, defense firms settle long-standing dispute

The U.S. Navy will get a $200 million credit against a contract to build a destroyer at Bath Iron Works under the settlement of a 23-year legal dispute.

The settlement, announced Thursday, was among Boeing Co., General Dynamics Corp. and the United States. It resolves a dispute over the cancellation of the $4.8 billion A-12 stealth aircraft in 1991 after it ran into major schedule delays and cost overruns in the 1980s. The companies had argued that the government wrongfully terminated the contract.

Under the settlement, Boeing and General Dynamics, the parent company of BIW, each will provide the Navy with about $200 million in goods or services. The government will not pay any money in connection with the contractors’ claims against the U.S. The settlement was authorized as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.

The details call for General Dynamics to provide a credit against a contract for the DDG-1002 guided missile destroyer, which is being built at Bath Iron Works. Meanwhile, Boeing will provide three EA-18G aircraft and a credit for converting the existing multi-year contract to a firm fixed-price contract.

“We are closing a 23-year-long chapter in the annals of naval aviation and further strengthening, through the contractors’ in-kind payment, the Navy’s capabilities and capacities,” Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said in a statement. “The litigation was protracted and difficult, but it saved the Navy billions of dollars.”

NEW YORK

Sam’s Club division to cut 2,300 workers – 2% of force

Walmart Stores Inc. is eliminating 2,300 workers at its Sam’s Club division as it reduces the ranks of middle managers in a bid to be more nimble.

The layoffs, which cut 2 percent of the membership club’s employee count of about 116,000, mark the largest since 2010 when the Sam’s Club unit laid off 10,000 workers as it moved to outsource food demonstrations at its stores.

WASHINGTON

Nation’s union membership holds steady at 11.3 percent

The nation’s union membership held steady at 11.3 percent last year, but losses among state and government workers suggest an ominous trend for the future of organized labor.

In a turnabout, there are now slightly more union members working for private firms than in government, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. That reverses a five-year trend.

Although the rate of membership among all workers didn’t budge, the overall number of union members grew slightly, rising about 162,000 to nearly 14.5 million.

– From staff and news service