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USW members voting on new Alcoa contract today

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MASSENA - Members of United Steelworkers Local 420-A and 450-A are voting today on a new five-year deal with Alcoa.

Following the first of four meetings held on Friday, International Representative James Ridgeway said he was “absolutely” expecting the contract to be approved, both locally and nationally.

“I would be shocked if it didn’t pass,” he said.

Local 420-A President Robert A. Smith said the contract has been endorsed by union officials at all levels.

“Both the local leadership, as well as international leadership, fully endorse this contract,” he said.

Looking back at the negotiations in Pittsburgh last month, Mr. Ridgeway said the deal received “unanimous recommendation.”

He explained unanimous recommendation means the contract had the support all of the local presidents, as well as international leadership.

“It’s a very fair offer,” Mr. Ridgeway said.

Mr. Smith said he’s optimistic that Massena’s more than 600 union members will also support the deal.

“Membership will vote on it, and we hope they follow our recommendation,” he said.

Union leadership will be holding four meetings with its members on Friday. Each meeting will be held at St. Mary’s Social Hall and includes a presentation on the new contract. Employees will also have the opportunity to ask questions and comment on the deal prior to voting.

Following each meeting yes/no ballots will be provided and voting will occur.

Mr. Smith said he’s not expecting to know whether the contract has been officially ratified until late Friday night, as membership in 10 different cities will also be voting.

According to Alcoa’s website the contract will cover roughly 6,100 employees at plants in Massena, Alcoa, Tenn.; Davenport, Iowa; Gum Springs, Ark.; LaFayette, Ind.; Point Comfort, Texas; Rockdale, Texas; Warrick, Ind.; Wenatchee, Wash.; and Yadkin, N.C.

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