Update: Three Year Agreement Reached Between Air Brake, Union
New York Air Brake and its 151 member union reached a contract agreement Saturday, according to both the company and the union.
Union members voted to accept the deal during a meeting at the Northside Improvement League in Watertown Saturday. The parking lot was packed with the vehicles of union members.
"Even though it's not really what you had hoped for, it emerged as the logical choice," said John Carr, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Two weeks ago, workers authorized a strike after rejecting a company proposal that would have cut wages, affected retirement plans and allowed the company to use more non-union help. However, workers also agreed to stay on the job while negotiations continued.
"I'm especially proud of the workforce during this time that allowed us to get the agreement in place and continue good high quality normal operations," said Michael Hawthorne, Air Brake president.
Air Brake plans to add as many as 50 new jobs in Watertown, with the closing of a plant in Kingston, Ontario later this year.
Under the contract that just expired, the average Air Brake worker made $20.88 an hour.