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ATI, union continue working after contract expires

Allegheny Technologies Inc. and the United Steelworkers are continuing to operate under the terms of a labor agreement that expired at the end of Tuesday, avoiding a lockout that would have affected 2,300 workers in four states.

The company has a site in Lockport with 44 union members. The union had been preparing for a possible lockout by the company before the two sides agreed to continue working past the deal’s expiration.

“ATI remains hopeful that progress can be made toward new agreements, but significant issues need to be resolved,” ATI said in a statement. “ATI continues to work in good faith with the USW toward new and fair agreements.” Pittsburgh-based ATI makes specialty metals and components.

The Steelworkers late Tuesday released a statement saying the union had offered to continue working following the expiration of the agreement and continue negotiations for a “fair agreement.”

The union contended the company was preparing to hire replacement workers and additional security guards to prepare for a lockout. The company has declined to comment on those claims.

“We stand prepared to continue to negotiate and to search for an agreement that works for both parties, but we will not be bullied or intimidated by tactics or threats,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard, in a statement.