(Bloomberg) -- Union members at a F-35 fighter jet manufacturing plant in Texas voted on Sunday to ratify a new contract with Lockheed Martin Corp. that included wage hikes and improvements to retirement benefits.  

Approximately 5,000 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 776 in Forth Worth, Texas approved the deal that their negotiating committee had unanimously recommended, according to a statement. Terms included a 16% effective general wage increase over the four years of the contract, cost-of-living adjustments, a $4,000 per person ratification bonus and maintained the union’s healthcare plan.

“We have once again proven why the IAM is the largest and strongest aerospace and defense labor union in the world,” IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. said in the statement. “Our members stood strong and demanded a strong contract every step of the way.”

Lockheed did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Last week, the company said rising costs to build F-35 fighter jets have bogged down contract talks with the Pentagon. 

Negotiations over the new labor deal had been ongoing since February, the union said in a statement. The new contract officially takes effect April 25 for four years and two months. 

Labor unions have experienced a renaissance over the past year, emboldened by soaring company profits, renewed respect for essential workers because of the pandemic and rekindled political will in Washington. 

Deere & Co. workers scored a victory last November after going on strike for the first time since 1986, which left the farm-equipment producer’s customers facing serious delays for replacement parts at the peak of the harvest season. Amazon.com Inc. and Starbucks Corp. are both at the center of high-profile organizing campaigns among their workers, who are trying to unionize across the country. 

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