By BENNY FAIRCHILD
MASSENA - Members of the United Steelworkers employed by Alcoa at two plants in Massena now officially have a new five-year labor agreement that will guarantee labor peace through 2019.
Local 420-A President Robert A. Smith received word Friday night that the agreement had been approved by each of the units representing plants in 10 locations across the U.S.
“Local 420-A along with the other locals across the country have overwhelmingly accepted the proposed agreement between Alcoa and the USW,” Mr. Smith said. “The new agreement is a five-year labor agreement which includes pay increases and a comprehensive benefits package which is representative of the hard work of our members.”
While Mr. Smith didn’t reveal exactly how the vote broke down, he said the numbers in Massena were similar to the final combined tally.
“Our local results are reflective of the national results, as we too overwhelmingly approved the new contract.”
Union leaders met with membership throughout the day on Friday, holding a series of meetings at St. Mary’s Hall where the new contract and how it effect employees was explained.
Following those meetings ballots were distributed and voting occurred.
United Steelworkers International Representative James Ridgeway was in Massena for the meetings and voiced optimism that the contract would ultimately be approved.
“I would be shocked if it wasn’t,” he said.
Mr. Smith noted Friday night that the deal had unanimous support from the leadership at each of the 10 locations.
“The contract was endorsed by both the international as well as the local negotiating teams,” he said. “It had unanimous support from the local leadership at all 10 plants.”
In addition to covering approximately 620 employees in Massena at both Alcoa East and Alcoa West, the contract covers nearly 6,100 employees across the United States at plants in Alcoa, Tenn.; Davenport, Iowa; Gum Springs, Ark.; LaFayette, Ind.; Point Comfort, Texas; Rockdale, Texas; Warrick, Ind.; Wenatchee, Wash.; and Yadkin, N.C.