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Allnex workers in Wallingford set to vote again on contract

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WALLINGFORD — Workers at Allnex Industries, a South Cherry Street chemical manufacturer, are scheduled to vote on ratifying a collective bargaining agreement during a meeting Friday after workers rejected two previous tentative deals between the company and union.

Allnex employees are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers/International Chemical Workers Union Council Local 436C.

Reached by phone Thursday, a regional representative with the International Chemical Workers Union confirmed the scheduled meeting, but declined comment on negotiations. Vice president and regional director for the chemical workers union, Gerry Setley, also declined comment. 

The union meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. at VFW Post 591 on Prince Street. 

The first tentative deal between Allnex and the union was for five years with wage increases of 3% on Aug. 1 of 2022, 2023 and 2024. In 2025 and 2026, employee wages would have increased 2.75% each year. 

Once that agreement was rejected, a second tentative contract, this time for three years, also proposed 3% wage increases on Aug. 1 of 2022, 2023 and 2024. Added to the second tentative deal was a $1,000 “ratification bonus” for each employee.

Details on the third tentative agreement were not immediately available on Thursday. 

Allnex is “a global leader in industrial coating resins,” according to its website and “a market-leading manufacturer of adhesives, sealants and specialty coatings.”

Wallingford plant manager Frank DiCristina did not return calls for comment Thursday. He addressed the impasse, however, in a July 29 email to employees.

“As I’m sure most are aware, we did not come to an agreement with the Local 436-C on a new contract,” DiCristina wrote in the email, provided to the Record-Journal. “We continue to work together in good faith in order to come to a mutually beneficial agreement moving forward.”

DiCristina’s email addressed the issue of worker and community safety and concern over potential employee distraction. 

“What I personally ask of everyone on the Allnex team — everyone, union members and salary alike — is to focus first and foremost on working safely,” DiCristina wrote. “There is nothing more important than the safety of our employees and the community. Please do not be distracted. Allnex has already experienced enough recent tragedy that we never want to repeat in Wallingford.” 

The email did explain the reference to “recent tragedy.” Last month, however, two Allnex employees were injured in an explosion and fire at a plant in East St. Louis, Illinois, according to multiple published reports. The incident prompted investigations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Two weeks later, the same plant experienced an airborne chemical leak when a transport trailer containing hydroxyethyl acrylate over-pressurized, possibly due to excessive heating, according to spokeswomen for the company and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, as reported by the Belleville News-Democrat, an Illinois newspaper.

The Wallingford plant was previously owned by Cytec Industries and American Cyanamid. Allnex, based in Germany, was purchased last year by Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical for $4.75 billion, according to Reuters.



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