PITTSBURGH, September 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Members of the United Steelworkers (ETC) voted overwhelmingly this week to ratify a new four-year master contract covering approximately 1,600 production and maintenance workers at five Alcoa plants in the United States. “These hard-working union members are making a huge contribution to the company`s success, and they stood up to demand a contract that recognizes these contributions,” said Mike Millsap, director of DISTRICT 7 ETC, who chaired the union`s Alcoa bargaining committee. “This agreement is a victory for the workers and for the company.” Negotiations extended beyond the expiration date of the previous treaty in May. As discussions continued, the workers voted to authorize the ETC bargaining committee to hold a strike if necessary, while remaining in office under the terms of the collective agreement that expired. The treaty, which expires on May 15, was ratified by ETC members in 2014, before Arconic was separated from Alcoa in 2016. The contract provides for annual wage increases of more than 12 per cent over the life of the contract and maintains quality and affordable health care. The contract includes LOCALS 104 at Alcoas Warrick, Ind., annex; Local 420A in Massena, N.Y.; Local 5073 in Gum Springs, Ark. ; Local 4370 in Point Comfort, Texas; “This is a difficult time for these workers, as unfair trade and lower prices pay tribute to the U.S. aluminum industry,” said Thomas M. Conway, President of USW International. “Thanks to their strength and solidarity, they were able to find a fair agreement that will allow them to continue to care for their families and position the company for future success.” Health care security involves affordable, quality health care and protection from financial ruin by unexpected ex-medical thinkers. We do not want to choose between high premiums or highly decountable health plans. Alcoa calls its paid health plan “choice,” but it really offers no choice.
ETC members rejected the Choices plan in 2010 and 2014. The ETC negotiating committee is chaired by International Vice-President Tom Conway. Responding to the interruption of talks with Alcoa, he said: “Management should understand now that we are committed to negotiating fair agreements and not less.” 2014Alcoa and USW obtain a new five-year contract with an average increase over the contract of $3.22 per hour, or 14.2 percent, plus $1,000 ratification bonus, and maintains the health plan and Master Agreement bonuses.