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Ingersoll Rand confirms it will end Cheektowaga manufacturing

Ingersoll Rand confirmed Wednesday it will end manufacturing operations at its Cheektowaga plant, a decision impacting about 300 jobs.

The company said it will stop manufacturing at the Broadway site by the end of July, but will maintain a technology center there with 150 jobs.

"This decision is not a reflection on the performance of our personnel nor on the quality of our operations; reducing duplication where possible is a necessary, strategic decision for the long-term good of the business and our customers," said Misty Zelent, an Ingersoll Rand spokeswoman.

The company in late January announced its "intent" to end manufacturing at the plant this summer, but stopped short of saying the decision was final. Representatives of the company and the union representing hourly workers at the plant, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, met this week. Local elected leaders had called for the company to maintain the manufacturing operations.

The majority of the plant's production will be shifted to an Ingersoll Rand facility in Mocksville, N.C., Zelent said. The Cheektowaga plant makes air and gas compressors for applications including industrial plants.

"We will work with the union in Buffalo to fulfill legal obligations concerning collective bargaining and what this plan means for represented employees with regard to severance and other matters," Zelent said.

The labor contract between Ingersoll Rand and the machinists union is scheduled to expire Aug. 5.

Peter Cooney, an official with Machinists Local 330, issued a statement Wednesday which said: "It’s unfortunate the working families who have made Ingersoll Rand successful are faced with the uncertainties that lie ahead. Our focus is to ensure our members receive all provisions guaranteed under the collective bargain agreement, as well as effects bargaining with the company.”

Machinists Union General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. issued a statement, saying: "I will work with IAM International President Bob Martinez to ensure that our members in IAM Local 330 have access to every resource available to them. Our Legislative department has, and will continue working with elected officials to keep this work here, in this community.”

Ingersoll Rand is headquartered in Ireland, and its North American headquarters are in Davidson, N.C. In early 2015, Ingersoll Rand acquired the Broadway plant from Cameron International Corp., as part of an $850 million purchase of Cameron's centrifugal compressor division. Later that year, about 240 hourly workers at the plant went on strike for about a month.

The Broadway plant was once home to Joy Manufacturing. In 1987, Cooper Industries bought Joy and formed Cooper Turbocompressor Division. The company in 2006 changed its name to Cameron.

The technology center that will remain at the site will focus on engineering, sales and service and other customer-facing roles, the company said. Ingersoll Rand's local presence also includes a customer service and two Trane facilities, which is a brand of Ingersoll Rand.

Ingersoll Rand threatens to end manufacturing at Cheektowaga plant

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