November 12, 2006 — According to Alcoa Inc., a new four-year labor agreement agreed to on Sunday by the company and the International Association of Machinists local union at its Cleveland Works is identical to a contract rejected by the plant's United Auto Workers local on November 7.
At the time of that impasse, which precipitated a work stoppage at the Cleveland Works, Alcoa recalled that the contract was approved earlier this year by about 9,000 United Steelworkers employees at several other plants.
Cleveland Works produces forged aluminum wheels for cars and heavy-duty trucks. Plant manager Brett McBrayer stated: "We are very pleased that the IAM recognized the value of this agreement."
Alcoa states the new contract: makes the Cleveland Works more competitive; delivers competitive wage and benefits packages for the workers, with annual wage increases; includes a new health-care plan for employees; maintains health-care coverage for retirees with limited long-term liability for the corporation; and institutes a new attendance policy. IAM employees also are due a $1,500 signing bonus, upon ratification.
In reaction to the UAW work stoppage, McBrayer emphasized that the plant faces rising costs for health care and utilities, and low-cost competition. "We must contain our costs, improve productivity and grow our business to be globally competitive. Having a fair competitive long-term labor agreement, like the one offered to UAW Local 1050, would help better position us to secure our future in Cleveland," he said.