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Deadline looms for union, Alcoa negotiations

By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
May 30, 2010 at 12:30 a.m.


Negotiations between Alcoa and United Steelworkers union continue with the deadline for a consensus drawing closer.

Health-care and seniority rights continue to be sticking points, according to a union negotiations update Sunday.

The union contract expires at midnight Monday. A strike is possible if a deal is not struck.

"That is rumor," said Mike Cabera, president of the United Steelworkers 4370 of Point Comfort, who is involved in the negotiations in Cincinnati. "We're still up here negotiating."

"Both sides are holding their ground on what they want," he added.

Russell Pruitt, a former president of the local union who experienced the last employee strike in 1986, said preparing for the event is not unusual.

"The more your membership is prepared for the situation, the better things seem to sit when you're going for a contract," he said.

Final details will not be known until moments before the deadline, he said. In some cases, the deadline for negotiations is even extended, but Cabera said there has been no talk of doing that.

"It hasn't been a whole lot of movement," he said.

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