Alcoa Nearer to Ending Labor Dispute as Union Recommends Accord

Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum maker, came closer to resolving a labor dispute after a union representing workers at its ABI smelter in Quebec said it will recommend that members back a new agreement on contracts.

Negotiators for Alcoa and the United Steelworkers union accepted a report by a government-appointed conciliator, the union said in a statement. Workers will be asked to vote on the accord in the next few days, the union said.

“It’s not an agreement in principle, but it is a framework for a deal,” Clairandree Cauchy, a spokeswoman for the union, said today by telephone. “A denouement is in sight.”

The union represents about 900 workers at the ABI smelter in Becancour. Employees at the plant gave the union a strike mandate in November when their last labor agreement expired. A conciliator was brought in on Feb. 10 to facilitate talks.

Local newspaper Le Nouvelliste said Feb. 12 that the parties were discussing a four-year deal with annual wage increases of as much as 2.8 percent, while job cuts were also being considered.

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