A strike is currently underway at Constellium’s aluminium used beverage containers (UBCs) consuming mill in Muscle Shoals.
According to a press release, about 200 members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 200 walked off the job on December 15 due to an inability of management and labor to come to an accord on a contract at the site. The existing agreement expired on November 1, but both parties agreed to extend it as talks continued.
USW District 9 Director Daniel Flippo said the terms offered so far by Constellium would undo several details agreed to by the two parties over the course of several decades.
“Constellium insists on a contract that would erase decades of collective bargaining progress on issues like seniority and occupational health and safety in order to give management the unchecked authority to pick and choose exactly who works and when. We’re going to fight to hold the company accountable and to win the fair contract that USW members have earned and deserve.”
“Long before Constellium acquired this plant, our union contract made these the kind of jobs that support families and sustain our community,” Flippo continued. “We cannot allow the company to take them away.”
Constellium has remained mum on the situation at the plant to date.
The plant recycles about 20 billion aluminium cans per year. Aluminium can sheet has become a prized commodity this year due to the rise of beverage can consumption by consumers at home due to coronavirus-related lockdowns. Recycled aluminium sheet has been on the rise in recent years as well due to an uptick in demand for more sustainably-sourced raw materials.