An arbitrator has certified union representation for 4,100 workers at Litton Industries Inc.'s Avondale shipyard
in New Orleans, labor officials said. When Litton bought the shipyard in August, it allowed workers to sign cards indicating whether they favored a union. The Metal Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, a federation of U.S. labor organizations, said confirmation of a successful signature drive had been received.
For more than 50 years, Avondale had been the only major non-union shipyard building U.S. Navy and commercial ships. In recent years, workers filed numerous reports about dangerous working conditions, but the company's previous management accused federal inspectors of assisting the union in its organizing drive.