United Steelworkers will vote on strike authorization

Members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 105 are set to take a strike authorization vote on Thursday, May 12.

The union members are now in contract talks with Arconic.

Thursday’s vote doesn’t mean the union will strike, but it does “authorize a strike against Arconic should we be unsuccessful in reaching an agreement that is acceptable to the USW,” according to a Facebook post put on Local 105’s page on Saturday, May 7.

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, in Pittsburgh.

According to the local’s Facebook page, union members will meet at Isle of Capri Conference Center, 1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf, at six different times on Thursday, beginning at 6:30 a.m. for a “mandatory meeting” and vote.

Lee Shaffer, Local 105 guide, told the QCBJ that the goal is not to strike, but to get a fair contract from the company. Currently, contract talks continue, but are going a “little slower than we would like,” he said.

“I’m hopeful (a new contract will be approved.) This is the way it always seems to go; it goes down to the last minute,” Mr. Shaffer added.

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.

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.

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