Alcoa and the United Steelworkers have averted a strike, at least for now. The four-year contract was set to expire at 11:59 last night. But both sides agreed to an 11-hour extension. The New York-based Alcoa is America’s largest aluminum manufacturer.
There are nearly 1,200 Alcoa United Steel Workers at an eastern Iowa plant just outside Bettendorf. Last night the union gave the company what it says is a last, best and final offer. Details of it have not been released. Alcoa wants to switch union workers to a health plan the company says is much less expensive than the union plan.
Wages and pension benefits also are at issue. The company is trying to cut expenses after reporting recession-linked losses of more than $1.2 billion the last two years.
By Phil Roberts, Davenport