Alcoa, UAW Agree to Cleveland Works Contract Extension

April 20, 2009
Labor deal will help secure financing for 50,000-ton press repair

Alcoa reports that United Auto Workers members employed at its Cleveland Works have ratified a two-year extension of their existing labor agreement. Alcoa’s Cleveland Works is a forging operation, and the new agreement was sought by the producer as part of its effort to secure financing for repairs to its 50,000-ton press.

The press sustained a cracked foundation last year, leading Alcoa to idle the operation. Repair costs are estimated at $70 million in order to return the press to operation.

Alcoa cautioned that the contract extension is contingent upon it obtaining funding to rebuild the press. It said it hopes to have a comprehensive funding plan in place soon.

There has been much speculation about Alcoa’s ability to fulfill some significant commercial and military aerospace contracts without the availability of the press, including a 10-year contract to supply parts to Lockheed Martin for its Joint Strike Fighter program. The company said it has been meeting customers’ requirements with the products of a 35,000-ton press, also in Cleveland.

“This is a great collaborative day for Cleveland Works,” stated Alcoa plant manager Gena Lovett. “This new agreement reflects a spirit of flexibility and the desire among our local union leaders, union members, and Alcoa’s management team for a successful outcome to refurbish our 50,000-ton press, which is so critical to the long-term stability of this plant and the security of our jobs.”