« We are committed to working with union representatives to reach an agreement that ensures the economic security of our employees and our long-term business success, which we will all benefit from, » spokesman Cary Dell wrote in an email to S-P Global Platts. The union and the company had agreed to continue working under the existing terms and conditions of their existing contracts, which were due to expire on 15 May. Nearly 500 members of the local chapter of the United Steelworkers union voted Friday night. They agreed to allow a strike against their employers after negotiations on the new employment contracts with Alcoa and Arconic were halted in mid-May. The collective agreement includes more than 3,000 people represented in Arconic`s business in Alcoa, Tennessee (ETC Local 309); Davenport, Iowa (ETC Local 105); Lafayette, Indiana (ETC Local 115); and Massena, New York (ETC Local 420A). Alcoa did not return in time for this NCPR story. In a statement Monday morning, an Arconic spokesman, NCPR, said the company was aware of the vote on the strike authorization, which they called « not normal in negotiations. » We firmly believe that we can reach an agreement that is in the best interests of our employees, and we look forward to resuming negotiations at the negotiating table. Earlier this month, the ETC said, « Arconic can afford a fair deal » and stated that « Arconic publicly estimates that it will report a total profit of $830 million to $900 million in 2019, with free cash flow of $650 million to $750 million for the year. » Conway described the strike authorization granted by members of local unions who participated in the negotiations as turning the corner for negotiations and praised the hard work of the ETC bargaining committee to resolve management issues without labour disputes and without undue burdens for new hires or retirees. Arconic said the new agreement is a good outcome for its employees, shareholders, customers and local communities. Now two companies are working from the same Massena facility. Each company must sign a separate contract with the union.
WWNY-TV reported that Arconic, in particular, could seek to reduce workers` benefits, including health care and pensions.