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Alcoa & steelworkers agree to tentative 5-year contract, ratification awaits

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MASSENA - Word was received locally at 11:45 p.m. Thursday night that Alcoa and the United Steelworkers had agreed to the framework of a new tentative agreement.

Local 420-A Recording Secretary Michael Kormanyos said he received a phone call from 420-A President Robert A. Smith informing him that a tentative agreement had been reached.

“We have a tentative agreement that we feel is a fair deal and represents the hard work of everyone,” Mr. Smith said through a statement released early Friday morning.

Mr. Kormanyos said that at this point details of the agreement are scarce, but both he and Todd Mullin, the former recording secretary for Local 450-A said they were confident the deal was a good one.

“If the USW would settle an hour before the deadline, it must mean something,” Mr. Kormanyos said.

Mr. Mullin agreed, adding, “The USW doesn’t usually leave anything on the table.”

Looking back at past negotiations, both Mr. Mullin and Mr. Kormanyos said they’re pleasantly surprised by the timing of Thursday night’s announcement.

“The last two contracts went right down to the wire,” Mr. Mullin said. “We are impressed they were able to reach an agreement before the deadline.”

The last time a new contract was negotiated was in 2010 and that agreement went down to the wire, even with a 12 hour extension.

According to a statement posted on Alcoa’s website the new contract is a five-year agreement.

“Alcoa and the United Steelworkers have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year labor contract covering 6,100 workers at 10 manufacturing locations in the United States,” the statement read.

The posting also included a statement from Alcoa Global Primary Products President Bob Wilt, who also serves as chair of the company’s employee relations council.

“Together with the USW, we have reached a package that is positive for our employees and competitive for our business,” he said.

Mr. Kormanyos said the unit’s negotiating team will now bring the agreement back and explain it to the membership prior to a ratification vote.

“Our negotiations team will bring back the tentative agreement and we will schedule meetings to explain the package to membership at which point the ratification vote will take place.

A date for that presentation has not yet been set, but Mr. Kormanyos said similar meetings will be held on that same day at each plant covered by the agreement.

The deal represents members of both 420-A and 450-A in Massena, as well as employees in nine other locations across the U.S.

“Our employees are key to our success in driving productivity gains and growth, and this new contract ensures labor stability as we continue the transformation of Alcoa,” Mr. Wilt said. “We look forward to a positive outcome following the vote by local unions.”

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