Local workers rally as contract negotiations continue with Alcoa

Local News

WARRICK COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) – A show of solidarity tonight in Warrick County as local union workers held a rally.

Union workers even lit up the Alcoa sign to spread their message — as contract negotiations with Alcoa continue.

Just after five o’clock Wednesday, workers and their families filled the hall and spilled outside at Local 104 to show solidarity and support for union negotiators in Pittsburgh ahead of a looming contract deadline.

Shoulder-to-should, steelworkers rallied together to show their support.

“We had a pretty good turnout,” said Local 104 financial secretary Mike Long. “We just want the community to know and Alcoa to know that we are here under solidarity. Again, all we want is a fair contract.

Specifics on what workers are asking for were not available from Local 104. But they do want a few things:

“Good pay, good insurance, good retirement.”

However, a memo handed out at the rally by the negotiating committee said negotiators are demanding a fair contract, and an end to the lockout in Canada.

“All we’re asking for is a contract that’s good for our workers, our members, our communities and Alcoa.”

That memo goes on to say that local issue bargaining continues, citing “vacation one day at a time” or “VODATS” continue to be an issue.

In a statement, Alcoa said:

“Formal talks are underway now in Pittsburgh to reach a new multi-year agreement prior to the May 15th deadline. We are committed to a fair and competitive labor contract for our employees and locations.”  

“Together, we want to reach a labor agreement that advances Alcoa’s future, so we may serve our customers, support our communities, deliver value to our stockholders and competitively reward our employees.”
Long says the contract negotiations aren’t just about co-workers, but community.

“A lot, the whole community. It’s going to be a trickle down effect. They eat in their restaurants, they pay property taxes, new car loans, new home loans, buy clothes.”

The deadline to reach a new agreement is May 15th.  Long says the next step is up to the negotiating committee if an agreement is not reached by that deadline.

Meanwhile, that committee is urging supporters here at home to “stay strong, and stay united” as talks continue.

“They want to keep working, putting out a good product and making a living.”

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(This story was originally published on May 8, 2019)

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