NEW YORK Labor contract
discussions between Alcoa Inc. and the United Steelworkers
union for the Pittsburgh producers Aluminerie de
Bécancour Inc. (ABI) smelter continue this week ahead of
the Nov. 22 deadline.
The two parties, along with a
conciliator, will meet Tuesday to try to hash out a new
agreement for some 900 employees, members from both parties
The parties have been meeting
weekly since Sept. 11, sometimes three times per week, a USW
spokesman told AMM.
After meeting with just the
union, Alcoa in mid-October requested that a conciliator be
present at all meetings going forward (
amm.com, Oct. 11).
There are "some things still on
the table," the USW spokesman told AMM Monday,
declining to comment further.
"Were still in
discussions," an Alcoa spokeswoman said, adding that the
company aims to come out with a contract that is fair for both
parties and allows the Pittsburgh-based producer to remain
competitive. She declined to offer additional details.
The ABI talks are a hot topic
among producers and extruders, who speculate that tight North
American billet supplya paramount issue all
yearcould tighten further next year if the two parties
fail to come to an agreement and the workers at the
400,000-tonne-per-year smelter go on strike.
Alcoa has already begun taking
precautionary measures by offering only contingent billet
supply agreements to ABI customers. These contingency plans
state that the contracts will be null and void if Alcoa and the
USW fail to reach an agreement by the deadline.