MASSENA — Local members of the United Steelworkers will be voting on a tentative agreement with Alcoa on Sept. 19. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the United Steelworkers Local 420-A Union Hall on Woodlawn Avenue.
Local 420-A President Mark A. Goodfellow encouraged members to cast their ballots.
“It is of the utmost importance that every single member show up that day and cast their vote,” he said in a message to the membership on Monday.
The vote comes about three weeks after the union reached a tentative agreement with Alcoa. Negotiating committee delegates returned to their local unions to conduct membership meetings and arrange the ratification votes.
The specifics of the proposed master agreement have not been released to the public until after the union’s membership had an opportunity to review it with its elected union representatives. Four informational meetings were held Friday in Massena.
United Steelworkers officials have recommended that their membership ratify the tentative agreement, which was announced on Aug. 30.
“The proposed contract builds on decades of collective bargaining progress with hard-fought economic and non-economic improvements. Our members have earned and deserve fair wages, benefits and working conditions,” United Steelworkers District 7 Director Michael Millsap said in a statement.
Mr. Millsap had chaired the union’s negotiations with Alcoa.
“We came to the table months ago prepared to negotiate in good faith for a fair contract, but management made us fight for it every step of the way,” United Steelworkers International President Tom Conway said in a statement. “We are proud of what we have accomplished due to the unity, strength and solidarity of local union leaders, members and Contract Action Teams.”
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 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 union ratified a new three-year contract with Arconic on June 28, and resumed talks with Alcoa on July 17.
The tentative agreement impacts about 1,700 active employees at five U.S. locations — Massena, Warrick Operations in Indiana, Gum Springs in Arkansas, Wenatchee Works in Washington and Point Comfort in Texas.
Most of the union members eligible to vote on the proposed master agreement are employed at Warrick Operations, where the union represents employees at the aluminum smelter and rolling mill, and at the Massena Operations smelter. The Point Comfort alumina refinery and the Wenatchee Works aluminum smelter are both fully curtailed.