Members of United Steelworkers held an informational picket in mid-May to share their feelings about contract negotiations with Arconic and Alcoa. While a new agreement has been reached with Arconic, United Steelworkers officials say the latest “final” offer from Alcoa was short of what they needed for retirement security and healthcare. Bob Beckstead/Johnson Newspapers

MASSENA — United Steelworkers officials say the latest contract offer from Alcoa doesn’t meet their needs, and the negotiations are continuing.

“We received a second ‘final’ offer from the company which was short of what we need for retirement security and healthcare. The bargaining committee unanimously rejected the offer and are providing Alcoa with a counter. Continue to stay strong!” they said in a message to their members late Wednesday afternoon.

Alcoa officials say they are continuing to work with the union to come up with a new contract.

“The contract that would have expired on May 15 was extended indefinitely so parties could work toward an agreement. We’ve been working toward that goal. The process continues. The parties are making progress,” spokesman Jim Beck said.

The approximately 357 Alcoa employees and about 132 Arconic employees in Massena have continued working under the terms and conditions of a contract that expired on May 15. Negotiations broke off hours before the contracts were set to expire, and the negotiating committee, Alcoa and Arconic agreed to extend the contracts while negotiations proceeded, subject to termination with written notice by either party.

The United Steelworkers announced on June 28 that they had reached a tentative agreement with Arconic, after resuming negotiations on June 24. Members ratified the new three-year master contract with Arconic following a day of voting on July 11.

Once the contract with Arconic was ratified, union officials turned their focus to Alcoa. Negotiations between the United Steelworkers and Alcoa had resumed on July 17 in Pittsburgh.

However, union officials announced on July 20 that they were taking a break from negotiations after Alcoa officials told them they needed additional time to analyze the union’s offer.

“After a long day of exchanging proposals, Alcoa informed us tonight (July 19) that they need additional time to analyze and cost some of our proposals. We are taking a break and the Committee is returning to the plants to wait for Alcoa’s response. We are still working under the contract extension,” union officials said in a message to their members.

In a July 24 update, they said the negotiations continued to remain on hold.

“Alcoa is still working w/their actuaries to cost out & analyze our proposals. We expect to hear from Alcoa soon. We continue to work under the terms of the old contract,” they said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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