USW Members Vote to Ratify Five-Year Contract with Alcoa
By From a press release
June 9, 2014 at 1:09 a.m.
Editor's note: This news comes via a press release. Look for a full story in Tuesday's Advocate.
PITTSBURGH – United Steelworkers (USW) union members, in a secret ballot vote, ratified on Friday a new five-year labor agreement with Alcoa covering some 6,000 workers at 11 U.S. locations.
The agreement provides for a ratification bonus of $1,000 and general wage increases averaging $3.22 per hour, or 14.2 percent, over the contract. The contract preserves active and retiree health care benefits, with no increases in deductibles, copays or coinsurance. There also are no changes to health care contribution rates for active or retired employees. The agreement includes an increase in the pension formula and an innovative new benefit for Alcoa employees who suffer severe burns.
“These were difficult negotiations,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “The company opened talks demanding cuts in health care benefits, the elimination of the defined benefit pension for new hires and the establishment of a temporary work force. Alcoa management tested our membership, but they stuck together, stood up and rejected any concessions or two-tier proposals.”
“This agreement includes significant wage increases in each year of the contract which won’t be eroded by rising health care premiums or unexpected medical expenses,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who led the negotiations for the USW. “It reflects the contributions Alcoa’s employees have made to the company and its prospects for growth.”
The agreement is retroactive to May 16, 2014, and expires on May 15, 2019. It covers local union members at Alcoa plants in Warrick and Lafayette, Ind.; Point Comfort and Rockdale, Texas; Davenport, Iowa; Badin, N.C.; Alcoa, Tenn.; Wenatchee, Wash.; Massena, N.Y., and Gum Springs, Ark.