CHICAGO Workers at Alcoa
Inc.s majority owned Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc.
(ABI) have been asked by a United Steelworkers union
negotiating committee to reject the companys final
"This final bid does not
recognize the priorities identified by members during
negotiations," USW Local 9700 president Clément Masse
said in a statement Feb. 7. Management might be seeking a
"win-win" contract, but "that is not what we have in our hands
at the moment."
The rejection recommendation
comes just four days after ABI presented the final proposed
offer to the union Feb. 4 (
amm.com, Feb. 6).
Unionized workers at the Quebec
smelter will vote on the proposed contract Feb. 12 and Feb. 13,
the USW said.
"ABIs goal remains to
reach an agreement that satisfies both parties while allowing
our plant to remain competitive," a spokeswoman for
Pittsburgh-based Alcoa told AMM Feb. 7 via e-mail.
"Production is continuing and ABI will continue to do
everything it can to ensure customer needs are met."
If the contract is rejected, a
strike, lockout or more negotiations could follow, a union
source told AMM, adding that more negotiations and a
deal representing the best interests of both parties would be
preferable to a strike or lockout.
Alcoa and the USW have been
trying to renew a labor contract covering some 900 workers at
the 400,000-tonne-per-year ABI smelter since September (
amm.com, Jan. 4).
Market sources expressed concern
Feb. 7 that a potential strike or lockout could squeeze
aluminum billet supply and lead to higher premiums, especially
if such a development were to drag into the spring months,
historically a period of increased demand.