Union members at Arconic vote on strike authorization Thursday

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 11:33 PM CDT
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RIVERDALE, Iowa (KWQC) - About 1,800 union workers could be going on strike at Arconic in Riverdale.

United Steelworkers Local 105 is set to vote on a strike authorization on Thursday. If the vote passes, it doesn’t automatically trigger a strike, that would only happen if there is a work stoppage due to a new contract not being agreed on by the union and the company.

USW 150 members approved the current contract in July of 2019 and it is set to expire Sunday at noon.

Union leaders say they are looking for better pay and healthcare benefits. They also want to protect the pensions they have built up.

Local 105 Guide, Lee Shaffer said negotiations with the company are going slower than the union would like.

“We’re committed to getting a fair contract,” Shaffer said. “We were deemed essential, actually, by the company during the pandemic.

Thursday’s vote will take place at the Isle of Capri Convention Center with union members starting to vote at 6:30 a.m.

These negotiations come as unions have voted to strike nationwide and in the Quad City Area. Most Recently United Auto Workers at Case-New Holland in Burlington went on strike last Monday.

Shaffer said those strikes are on the minds of USW 150 membership

”I don’t think anyone wants to strike,” Shaffer said. “No one really ... wants one, but we’re prepared to do what we got to do to get a fair contract.”

According to the QC Chamber of Commerce, Arconic is tied with Tyson Fresh Meats as the eighth largest employer in the area, employing about 2,400 people.

Union workers at Arconic plants in Indiana, Tennessee and New York are also negotiating a new contract.

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