American aluminium pioneer Alcoa Corporation said Thursday it has reached an agreemet with United Steelworkers to continue working under the labor contract now in place until a new contract can be negotiated.
Per Alcoa, the 1,700 employees covered under the contract are located at 5 plants in the United States, specifically Indiana’s Warrick Operations, New York’s Massena Operations, Arkansas’ Gum Springs, Washington State’s Wenatchee Works, and Texas’ Point Comfort.
“The Company and the union have agreed to recognize the existing contract, which was set to expire on May 15, 2019, so negotiations can continue,” said Alcoa in a statement. “A new deadline has not been set.”
For its part, USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who is chairing negotiations, said that the present impasse arises from givebacks in Alcoa’s proposal that they find distinctly unappealing.
“Management should understand by now that we are determined to negotiate fair agreements and nothing less. Our members at Alcoa create tremendous value and have earned and deserve a contract that recognizes their contributions to the company’s continued success.”
USW indicated that negotiations will continue as union reps return to their chapters to update and consult with members.
The lion’s share of USW employees are engaged at the aluminium smelter and rolling mill in Massena. Employees at locations in Texas and Washington have already been curtailed.