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Ingersoll Rand walkout continues after vote

The strike continues at Ingersoll Rand’s Cheektowaga plant.

Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers on Thursday voted down a tentative deal and returned to the picket line. The workers went on strike Aug. 10.

“We’ve notified the company and told them we’re ready and willing to continue bargaining,” said Peter B. Cooney, District 65 representative for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents about 240 employees at the Broadway plant.

Cooney declined to reveal the vote percentages but said that there was “a closer margin than the last vote.” He said workers have objected to the company’s push for mandatory overtime, as well as its health insurance proposal.

Misty Zelent, an Ingersoll Rand spokeswoman, said of the vote’s outcome:

“We are disappointed with the result after the full bargaining committee signed the tentative agreement expressing full endorsement for the ratification of the agreement. Moving forward, we will continue to ensure production and delivery of quality products for our valued customers and operate our facility with salaried employees, skilled temporary contractors and experts in quality, engineering, advanced manufacturing and other technical skill sets from within our business.”

The two sides had reached a tentative agreement last Friday. The Cheektowaga plant, which Ingersoll Rand acquired as part of a larger deal completed this year, designs and makes air and gas compressors for applications including industrial plants.

Meanwhile, efforts will resume to resolve another labor dispute affecting the region.

Allegheny Technologies locked out about 2,200 workers at several plants Aug. 15. About 40 of them work at an ATI plant in Lockport.

ATI and the United Steelworkers are set to meet, along with a mediator, Friday and Saturday in Pittsburgh.