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Alcan Workers Rescind Strike, Get Free Health Care

Tue, 07/13/2010 - 4:32am

RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. (AP) — Union workers called off a planned strike at the Alcan Rolled Products aluminum rolling mill in Ravenswood on Monday.

Some 700 members of the United Steelworkers had been scheduled to walk off the job Tuesday. But Local 5668 rescinded its strike notice in response to an offer Sunday by Alcan to continue talking, representative Randy Moore said.

"When they put that out, why we re-evaluated our position and, you know, took the employer up on their offer," Moore said. "We asked for an extension while we continue to work on our differences."

A company spokesman did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment, and Moore said the union also has not heard back from Alcan.

Alcan has begun an orderly shutdown of the mill, which produces aluminum plate and other products. The mill has about 1,000 workers, making it the largest employer in Jackson County. The county lost more than 600 jobs when Century Aluminum shuttered its Ravenswood smelter last year.

Moore described members of the local as somber since rejecting Alcan's latest contract offer 397-251 last week.

"There's nobody wants to strike," he said. "I can tell you there's no jubilee, there's no war cry that went on when the vote came in."

Alcan said its final offer of a two-year contract would have raised wages and provided free health insurance.

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