SENECA FALLS — Members of Local 9832 of the United Steelworkers of America at Xylem Inc. in Auburn and Seneca Falls are on strike after a new contract agreement could not be reached last week.
The strike began at midnight July 26. The union represents 169 workers at the Auburn pump manufacturing plant on Goulds Drive and two workers at the Seneca Falls design and engineering facility on East Bayard Street in Seneca Falls.
The prior contract expired at midnight Sunday, and after a week of negotiations, the company’s final offer was put to a vote and overwhelmingly rejected by union members. Picketing began immediately at the Auburn plant, with support from Steelworkers union Local 3298, which represents several hundred workers at the ITT Goulds Pumps plant on Fall Street in Seneca Falls.
The main issues are said to be an enhanced 401K retirement plan for younger workers and a reduction in health insurance benefits for older workers. The two sides have planned a new negotiating session for Aug. 11.
“As part of its regular contract review cycle, the United Steelworkers Local 9832 in Auburn chose not to ratify its contract with Xylem as of July 25,” said Amanda Holloway, public relations and social media leader for the company.
“Steelworkers union workers exercised their right to strike. We are currently in communication with union representatives about the timing of resumption of negotiations and look forward to doing so,” she added.
Xylem manufactures residential water and wastewater pumps under the Goulds Water Technology brand. The pumps are designed and engineered in Seneca Falls at the former Goulds Water Systems plant.