CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Cheektowaga employer announced Tuesday it will be changing its focus in Western New York, and local jobs will be lost as a result.
Ingersoll Rand says it will stop manufacturing at the local plant in July. At this point, the company says it "is in the process of completing due diligence to make a final decision, including discussions with the union. If manufacturing is stopped, approximately 300 jobs will be impacted. The company will retain, and continue to invest in, a Technology Center with nearly 150 employees who focus on engineering, sales and service and other customer-facing roles."
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon the company wrote, it, "remains committed to Buffalo and will retain, and continue to invest in, a Technology Center at the current facility. Supporting our products and services globally, nearly 150 employees will focus on engineering, sales and service and other customer-facing roles."
The Technology Center is in addition to the company’s Buffalo locations – a customer center and two Trane facilities, a brand of Ingersoll Rand.
Under this plan, Ingersoll Rand says it is their intent to transition and consolidate the majority of Buffalo production for its core product line to North Carolina. It will also transition a smaller amount of work to plants overseas.
"This was a difficult decision as we take all actions that affect our people very seriously. We are committed to supporting employees with competitive severance packages, on-site employee assistance programs, job placement services and the opportunity to apply for jobs at other company locations. We also plan to work with the union in Buffalo to fulfill legal obligations concerning collective bargaining and what the plan means for represented employees."
In Mocksville and Davidson, North Carolina the company plans to hire 40 new assembly, machinery and technical manufacturing jobs.
Ingersoll Rand also has a growing demand for skilled workers at its U.S. manufacturing facilities with a plan to fill another 500 manufacturing jobs over the next year.
The union representing the impacted workers, Machinists Local 330, was reserved in its reaction to Tuesday's announcement. However, in a three paragraph tweet, Peter Cooney, the assistant directing business representative offered his support to the impacted workers.
#pressrelease #1u #SOLIDARITY #IAMUnionStrong #AmericanWorkersFirst #WNY #Buffalo #IAMDistrict65 #LocalLodge330 #BREAKING https://t.co/hma0YiIkTu pic.twitter.com/Me4doln6g9— Machinists Union ET (@IAMAW_EastTerr) January 23, 2019
Assemblymember Monica Wallace, Senator Tim Kennedy, and Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski have issued the following joint statement:
“Today’s announcement from Ingersoll Rand regarding the ceasing of operations at its Cheektowaga manufacturing facility was a surprise to us and is deeply upsetting. Anytime we lose jobs in Western New York is concerning, but for 280 skilled laborers to lose their jobs at once is devastating. We will be sending a letter to Ingersoll Rand imploring their leadership to meet with Empire State Development and the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, and we are planning to have open dialogues with the company, the union representing these workers, and other community leaders to evaluate what can be done to keep Ingersoll Rand’s manufacturing facility open.
“Just as the Western New York community stood with these workers three years ago when they went on strike for better health care, we will stand by their side today and moving forward.”