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Ironworkers plight to be shared today with regional council

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POTSDAM - The president of the Central and Northern New York Building Trades Council will be sharing organized labor’s concern with a roof repair project at Alcoa with members of the Regional Economic Development at their meeting this afternoon.

Gregory R. Lancette, who also serves as the business manager for Local 267 of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 267, told members of Local 440 of the Ironworkers and their supporters that he had been granted a spot on the council’s meeting agenda, a session that will also be attended by Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy.

Mr. Lancette said he is hopeful to have an opportunity after the meeting to speak with Alcoa Plant Manager John Martin.

“The Alcoa plant manager may not be at that meeting, knowing we are going to be there,” he said.

Mr. Lancette said union officials had a “candid meeting” with Mr. Martin and Alcoa official Sue Flynn to discuss the mechanism of a project labor agreement.

“We’re not looking to disrupt the steelworkers or Alcoa’s business. We want it to be a symbiotic partnership,” he said.

Ironworkers Local 440 is picketing Alcoa for letting a Texas firm, which is bringing in its own workers, repair the roof at the Massena West plant that was damaged in a March fire. CCC Group of San Antonio brought 24 of its own workers here and hired four local employees, Alcoa spokeswoman Laurie A. Marr said previously.

That drew the ire of Local 440, which had hoped to put 32 of its own staff to work there. Two inflatable again rats rose above the picketers as they continued their protest on Friday.

Mr. Lancette said union officials have not had an opportunity for much dialogue with Alcoa representatives since last Friday’s meeting.

“We’d even be willing to go to Park Avenue (Alcoa headquarters in New York City) or Pittsburgh to reach a solution,” the union leader stressed.

“We don’t want to be here. We want to be inside. I don’t know what their mind-set is. Maybe they thought we were sleeping,” he said.

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