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Xylem workers approve new contract, end strike in Auburn
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Xylem workers approve new contract, end strike in Auburn

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Xylem strike 5

Xylem workers continue to picket at the company's Auburn plant on July 29.

A labor strike conducted by 175 unionized employees of Xylem Inc. is over.

United Steelworkers Local 9832 President Shawn Jakaub said workers are back on the job Tuesday at the Auburn pump manufacturing plant after a new contract was reached last weekend.

The union began its strike July 26, citing its desire for better retirement benefits for its younger members and the proposed elimination of free medical benefits for older workers and retirees.

At the beginning of the strike, the company had told the union it would return to the negotiating table on Aug. 11. But the union reached out on Friday and requested to resume talks sooner.

By Friday night, a tentative deal was reached. Union members approved it "almost unanimously" on Monday, Jakaub said, and they returned to their shifts on Tuesday morning.

Workers at Auburn pump factory go on strike

Jakaub declined to comment on specifics of the new deal. Xylem officials characterized it as a "mutually beneficial agreement" in an email confirming that the contract dispute has ended.

This was the first labor strike at the Auburn plant in 40 years.

Xylem's Auburn plant manufactures water and sewage pumps under the Goulds Water Technology brand. According to the company's website, the Auburn workforce makes 2,500 residential and wastewater pumps each day at its 300,000-square-foot facility. The pumps are designed and engineered at a Xylem facility in Seneca Falls.

Two of the affected 175 USW workers work at the Xylem Seneca Falls site, with the rest employed in Auburn, Jakaub said.

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