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Ingersoll Rand union OKs contract, ending strike after five weeks

Hourly workers at Ingersoll Rand in Cheektowaga will return to their jobs next week.

Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers voted, 151-65, Wednesday to approve a contract with the company, ending a strike that began Aug. 10. The workers are due to return to their jobs Monday.

“This is the final resolution we had been hopeful for and we look forward to having our Buffalo team reunited again,” said Misty Zelent, an Ingersoll Rand spokeswoman.

About 240 unionized workers were on strike. Last week, the workers rejected a tentative agreement between the company and the union, which prompted Ingersoll Rand to threaten to take its “last, final and best offer” off the table if another vote was not scheduled.

Peter B. Cooney, district representative for the machinists union, said that the union clarified a few points with the company after last week’s vote and that the two sides made a minor change to Ingersoll Rand’s overtime policy before Wednesday’s vote.

“I’m just glad that we were finally able to put something in front of the members they supported,” Cooney said. About 70 percent of the workers who cast ballots voted in favor of the deal.

The Broadway plant designs and makes air and gas compressors for applications including industrial plants. Ingersoll Rand acquired the plant as part of a deal with Cameron Inc. that was completed earlier this year.