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Luvata, union still have no deal; Labor agreement nears deadline

The union representing workers at Luvata Buffalo's plant says it has not yet reached a deal on a new labor agreement with the company, with a deadline just days away.

"Some progress has been made, 'it may be too little too late,' " says a message posted Monday on the website of Local 593, United Steelworkers. A one-year extension of the members' contract is scheduled to expire at the end of Thursday.

The union says local issues remain to be resolved, adding that the "company continues to put the business and our customers at risk." It recommends skilled-trades workers at the plant start making arrangements to remove their tools before the contract deadline arrives.

"Shortly the union leadership must start to gear up for the end of the contract in order to achieve an orderly shutdown," the web posting said. "Your stewards will have the proper instructions if this event occurs.

Jack Alonge, Luvata Buffalo's director of human resources, declined to comment on specific issues that remain to be negotiated. "We're still talking, and that's always the most important thing. I'm still confident we can come up with an agreement," Alonge said.

The North Buffalo copper and brass plant operated by Luvata, previously known as Outokumpu American Brass, has not had a strike since 1984.

Local 593 represents about 450 members at the plant. Workers last week authorized their union leaders to call a strike, should the leaders decide to use that option.

e-mail: mglynn@buffnews.com

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