Arconic, United Steelworkers contract talks continue

Contract talks between the United Steelworkers (USW) and Arconic continue on a “slow” pace this week after negotiations began late last month in Pittsburgh.

The union includes workers with USW Local 105, Bettendorf, who are employed at Arconic Davenport Works in Riverdale. Arconic is one of the largest employers in the Quad Cities region.

Local 105 includes about 1,750 union workers at Davenport Works, according to information from the union.

“It’s kind of slow going right now. We’re hoping it picks up this week,” Lee Shaffer, a guide officer with Local 105, told the QCBJ on Tuesday, May 4.

He added that union and company representatives are continuing the process of exchanging proposals, but could not make any other comments on the contract talks or a possible union response.

This year’s contract talks are expected to focus on wages and benefits for USW members working at four Arconic locations — Davenport Works; Lafayette, Indiana; Massena, New York; and Alcoa, Tennessee.

The company’s current three-year contract with the USW was approved in 2019 and expires on Sunday, May 15. Contract talks began Tuesday, April 26.

A recent report in the Watertown (New York) Daily Times gave some insight to the negotiations for a union official.

“Our proposals fall into these categories — top table, language, benefits, and health and safety,” said Mark A. Goodfellow, president of USW Local 410-A of Massena, New York. “Each of these have their own ‘table’ where proposals are exchanged and discussed. Each local union has at least two members at each ‘table’ with support from USW staff. At these ‘tables’ we have taken the lead and presented our union proposals and, in typical fashion, Arconic is not prepared with their proposals,” he said. “We will continue to fight for a fair contract for our members and will share information through negotiations.”

Arconic, with headquarters in Pittsburgh, is a global supplier of aluminum sheet, plate and extruded products for the aerospace, automotive, commercial transportation, defense, industrial, and building and construction industries.

Also on Tuesday, May 4, Arconic reported first quarter 2022 results. Revenue was $2.2 billion, up 2% from the prior quarter, primarily due to higher aluminum prices, ongoing recovery in aerospace, and the ramp-up of packaging sales in the United States, partially offset by weak ground transportation sales. The company reported net income of $42 million, or 39 cents per share, compared with $52 million, or 46 cents per share in the first quarter of 2021.

“Our North American packaging production ramped up, the aerospace market continued to improve, and we captured price and mix benefits in our building and construction and industrial markets,” said Arconic CEO Tim Myers said in the earnings release. “We have countered inflation with price and cost initiatives and should progress on that front as the year goes on. We continue to expect automotive production to improve through the year recovering from first quarter OEM shutdowns related to ongoing semiconductor supply issues.”

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