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Pittsburgh Area Utility Workers Approve Contract

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Utility workers in the Pittsburgh area have approved a new contract.

The Utility Workers Union of America Local 537 says in a Saturday release that the vote ends a two-month strike by about 150 union workers at four sites in the Pittsburgh area.

The union had been protesting the labor practices of Pennsylvania-American Water and its New Jersey-based parent company, American Water. Local 537 says workers went without wage increases for four years in order to win a contract. The new contract provides significant "catch-up" wage increases.

There was no shortage of controversy during the strike. At one point, more than a dozen fire hydrants were opened in Peters Township and Bethel Park in a three week period.

No one knew for sure who did the tampering, but the Pennsylvania American Water Company pointed its finger at workers who claimed the company locked them out.

The strike also caused difficulties when several water lines broke and needed to be repaired.

Pennsylvania-American Water and Local 537 say they're both pleased the contract is resolved, and they look forward to working together.

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(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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