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Steelworkers approve new four-year contract

Most activity in many weeks at USW Local 4895 Hall on Thursday as members okayed contract proposal with Alcoa. Reporter/Mike Brown Most activity in many weeks at USW Local 4895 Hall on Thursday as members okayed contract proposal with Alcoa. Reporter/Mike Brown United Steelworkers members on Thursday approved a new four-year labor contract with Alcoa, a proposal which passed nationwide and at Local Union 4895 in Rockdale.

According to the USW website, the pact, which was hammered out last month in Cincinnati, Ohio, negotiations, was approved by 68 percent nationwide.

Local 4895 does not release percentages but a union official confirmed to The Reporter that the proposal did pass locally.

The contract includes a 5 percent pay raise and is in effect through May 15, 2014. It covers almost 6,000 staff at 11 U.S. plants.

Only about 50 USW members remain at Alcoa’s Rockdale Operations after the company closed its Rockdale smelter in 2008.

The international union said employees will get lump-sum payments of $2,750 in lieu of higher wages in the first two years, followed by a 5 percent pay increase for the second half of the agreement.

Contributions to family health plans by workers will climb to $47 a week from $32 over four years. They will receive a $1,250 signing bonus for approving the accord by June 30.

“Under the circumstances we believe that this agreement is the best we can achieve, and sees us through the bad times, preserving our most important gains,” the union said in a June 15 message to members recommending they vote for the deal.

“This new agreement is a good outcome for our employees, shareholders, customers and communities,” Alcoa said in a statement on the pact approval.


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