United Steel Workers To Take Strike Vote At Taxpayer-Subsidized Plant

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While a strike may not happen yet, if members authorize a strike later this week, the United Steel Workers could call them out with 24-hours notice.


MASSENA, NY—A mere two months after New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo announced an extension on a low-cost low-cost hydropower deal to keep their plant open, members of the United Steel Workers are conducting a strike authorization vote on Friday.



Although a strike is not imminent, the strike vote is happening just days after the United Steel Workers and Alcoa and Arconic broke off talks.

“USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who chairs the negotiations, said that the proposals currently on the table from Alcoa [and Arconic] contain givebacks both too broad and too deep for our members and families to absorb.”

In 2015, Cuomo gave $70 million in state subsidies to Alcoa in order to keep the Massena plant open in economically depressed St. Lawrence County.



“The term of the agreement is three and a half years, according to Mr. Cuomo, who said the state would pay less if the price of aluminum were to rise,” the New York Times reported in 2015. “Alcoa, he said, would pay a penalty of up to $40 million if the company reduced its work force below 600 during that time.”

Presuming the union’s membership authorizes a strike, the union could call a strike within 24 hours’ notice.




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