Ron May, the president of Local 747-C of the International Chemical Workers Union reports that the union membership has ratified a new three-year contract with Emerald Kalama Chemical, heading off a possible strike. The 72 union members voted on a new company offer on Friday, the same day that a contract extension expired. The previous contract had expired in May. Under the extension, workers continued to operate under provisions of the old contract. When the contract expired in May, union members had also overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike. May says that they’ll get wage increases of two percent per year, and there are also company adjustments regarding vacation accrual and retirement contributions. May says that it was an extremely difficult negotiation, with both sides gaining some and losing some. He also says that about 95 percent of the local membership voted, and while they didn’t have the exact numbers for ratification, May says that he understands that the margin was extremely close.