Leading baseball cap manufacturer New Era Cap Co has presented a new plan to the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in a bid to end the eight-month-long strike at its factory in Derby, New York.

The firm, which makes caps for Major league players as well as colleges and universities, has been in dispute with union officials since June when scores of workers went on strike over new rates of pay.

The new pay and investment offer would increase production at the plant by nearly 25 per cent to 60,000 caps per week, resulting in a significant investment of capital in the plant. Prior to the strike, the Derby plant was producing slightly more than 48,000 caps per week on average.

"Nearly 25 per cent of union workers crossed the picket line at Derby after the strike began and have now been working under the new production standards and pay rate for close to eight months," said Tim Freer, director of human resources at New Era Cap.

"What we have seen during that period is that the new engineered standards have produced the results the company anticipated. Efficiency is up, while absenteeism and lost-time injuries at the Derby plant are down, as was projected."

Union officials are expected to respond to New Era#;s offer later today.