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Steelworkers-Arconic Contract Talks

United Steelworkers Union

The current contract expires late Wednesday night for one of the Quad Cities largest employers and the United Steelworkers union. Negotiations with Arconic, formerly part of Alcoa, affect 1,900 hourly workers here, and 1,400 more in 3 other states.

Roy Hutt, from Steelworkers Local 105, would like to replace the current, five-year agreement, with another long-term contract.

"It's looking like with the information we've got, it looks like they're targeting three years. In most people's opinion, we here at the local, it would be better to have a longer agreement."

Local contract talks began several months ago, but work on the master agreement for all four locations opened in Pittsburgh just two weeks ago.

Hutt says Arconic now has a very short-term focus, concentrating only on cutting pay and benefits and raising the stock price.

"We're not willing to sacrifice the long-term success of the plant, or good paying jobs with good benefits in our community, for their short-term gain."

For example, he says, the ceo has a one year appointment and will receive a huge bonus if he raises Arconic's stock price to 30 dollars a share. Currently it's around 22 dollars.

The Quad Cities plant is located in Riverdale, Iowa, but its hourly and salaried workers live in both eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.