MASSENA, New York (WWNY) — The Massena community is responding to job retention. It was announced over the weekend that the United Steel Workers Union and Arconic had reached a tentative agreement now more than 100 workers at its Massena plant.
“I am very relieved and very happy for our community, as well as for all these workers,” said Greg Paquin, Mayor of Masséna.
A deal was struck just before Sunday’s deadline. The Arconic plant in Masséna employs around 130 people. These employees were threatening to go on strike, along with the employees of three other factories, if a new labor agreement could not be reached. The two sides, however, tentatively agreed to new terms on Saturday.
Information sent to union members says the deal would include a 20% pay rise for union workers over the next four years, with no increase in healthcare premiums, but their pension plan would not be improved. .
“It creates a lot of stability in the community, without having to worry about any kind of strikes and so on,” Paquin said.
The mayor says keeping those jobs is a boost for Massena’s economy.
The ripple effects can be felt at popular spots like Spanky’s Diner. Waitresses say Arconic employees are regulars.
“Probably weekly, I would say,” said waitress Mary Wright.
“Oh yeah, probably every other day,” said Hope Jenkins, another waitress.
Keeping those jobs local means more business.
“More people, more friends, more people they know,” Jenkins said.
“A stronger community,” Wright said.
Mayor Paquin says this is a particularly big boost since the village has lost other businesses. “It’s been a tough road there over the last decade with our major industries shut down.
Unionized workers have yet to vote on the deal. We still don’t know when that will happen.
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