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Union members at Elliott to discuss offer

| Friday, June 15, 2001

More than 600 union steelworkers at the Elliott Turbomachinery Co. in Jeannette will meet Saturday to discuss contract negotiations, and possibly vote on a proposed pact, if one is reached, that would cover both shop and office workers.

Negotiators for the union and the company have already worked out contract language and are now bargaining economic issues, said Dennis Andros, president of Jeannette-based Local 1145 of the United Steelworkers union, Thursday. He said the union is seeking increases in pensions and wages, and also job security.

Members of Local 1145 have been working under a one-year contract extension that expires at midnight tonight.

'Things are going pretty good. We're not anticipating a strike. That's the worst-case scenario, and we feel we can settle,' Andros said.

Workers at the turbine manufacturer voted in March 2000 to extend a four-year contract for one year. The one-year extension covers 538 shop workers and 81 office and technical workers who are members of Local 1145-2380.

Andros said contract proposal sessions for shop workers will be held 9 a.m. Saturday at the Jeannette high school gymnasium; a similar meeting will be held 1 p.m. at city hall in Jeannette for office personnel.

In the event negotiators reach tentative agreement, Andros said shop workers will vote at the union hall, 201 Clay Ave., from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Office workers will vote from 3 to 5 p.m. at the union hall.

The union has 376 members working in its shop unit, as 162 workers are laid off. The office unit has 69 active workers, while about a dozen are laid off.

'We still have some issues to work through, but we're not yelling or screaming. Both sides realize we're facing some difficult times, but the talks have been civil and professional,' said Herman Porter, Elliott spokesman.

Porter said business at the 91-year-old company has been 'about the same,' as potential turbine and compressor sales are awaiting increased activity in the oil industry.

Elliott Co., which is owned by Tokyo-based Ebara Corp., employs about 2,000 people worldwide, including about 1,200 at its headquarters plant in Jeannette.

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