Steelworkers, Machinists OK deal with Alcoa

WENATCHEE – Union workers at Alcoa in Wenatchee and 10 other sites nationwide have approved a four-year contract with the company.

In Wenatchee, 89 percent of the union workers voted Thursday to accept the deal, said Jim O’Brien, the president of Machinists Union Local Lodge 1123. Nationwide, the contract was ratified with a 68-percent yes vote.

“I feel pretty good about it,” said O’Brien, who was part of the negotiating team for the Wenatchee Aluminum Trades Council, which represents workers belonging to five different unions at Alcoa’s Wenatchee Works, which is in the town of Malaga.

There are about 270 hourly workers at Alcoa who are covered by the contract with the Aluminum Trades Council. More than 200 are members of the Steelworkers Union, but roughly 40 are Machinists Union members, with the rest belonging to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Sheetmetal Workers Union or the Bricklayers Union.

Under the contract, pay for workers in all grades will increase by an average of $1.08 spread over four years. Workers will also receive a ratification bonus of $1,250.

That will help offset increases in the worker health-care costs, which will raise $51.99 a month for workers with families and $8.66 for single workers in 2011, and will continue to go up during the rest of the contract.

Alcoa also agreed to pay an additional $2 a month per year of service under the formula used to calculate pension payments.

Alcoa had come after its union workers with some pretty steep demands, said O’Brien, who spent 19 days in Cincinnati during the talks. They included an initial proposal to create a two-tier wage and benefits system for new hires. The union’s negotiators were able to pare that back, and rank-and-file members seemed pleased, he said.

“People were happy we didn’t get the two-tier system and we kept our health care, even though we’re paying more for it,” O’Brien said.

The Wenatchee Machinists are part of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District Lodge 751 in Seattle. Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, District 751 now represents more than 25,000 working men and women at 42 companies and agencies across Washington and California, through local lodges based in Richland, Seattle and Spokane, as well as Wenatchee.

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  1. […] and  Lee & Eastes, both in Pasco and Alcoa in Wenatchee, where Machinsts are part of the Wenatchee Aluminum Trades Council, which bargains on behalf of all union workers at Alcoa’s Wenatchee […]



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