NEW YORK The union
representing workers at Alcoa Inc.s Aluminerie de
Bécancour Inc. smelter in Bécancour, Quebec,
began parking trailers in front of the facility Tuesday in
anticipation of a lockout, a company spokeswoman told
The United Steelworkers union
and the Pittsburgh-based producer have been working feverishly
since mid-September to renew a labor contract set to expire
"I can confirm that negotiations
continue and the goal remains to reach an agreement that
satisfies both parties and allows the plant to remain
competitive," the spokeswoman said. "We continue to be
optimistic that an agreement can be reached."
A United Steelworkers spokesman
declined to comment.
Both sides have been meeting
regularly since Sept. 11, sometimes as often as three times a
In mid-October, Alcoa requested
that a conciliator be present at all meetings going forward (
amm.com, Oct. 11).
If the two sides fail to come to
an agreement and the 900 union workers at the
400,000-tonne-per-year plant either go on strike or are locked
out, participants in the industry agree that it would make
North American billet, in tight supply for much of 2012, even
more scarce next year.