Arconic union contract extended; union says talks have broken off

RIVERDALE, Iowa-- A midnight deadline on May 15 has been erased now that Arconic has announced a contract extension with the United Steelworkers Union. It comes after weeks of negotiations, but the USW Local 105 says its disappointed a temporary agreement wasn't reached instead.

Roy Hutt, second vice president at the USW Local 105, says Arconic has broken off communication with the union and says they were far from coming to an agreement. However, Davenport Works Communications and Public Affairs Manager John Riches tells News 8 negotiations are expected to continue tomorrow.

Hutt says the extension requires a 24-hour notice to strike, which is an option the union isn't ruling out. For now, employees will continue to work under their current contract.

Earlier Wednesday, May 15, hundreds of union workers, family members and supporters held an informational rally outside Arconic on Highway 67. They held signs and shouted chants, all asking for a fair contract.

"We're not trying to rob them," says Jessica Pizano-Cruz, who's worked at Arconic for five years. "We work for them. We like our company. That's why we come together as one and we just want our fair share."

Employees say they're unhappy with the changes Arconic is proposing. That includes healthcare and retirement benefit cuts. Pensions would be replaced with 401K plans, and retired employees could also lose their benefits.

"I gave my heart and soul," says Skip McGill, who's worked 30 years at Arconic. "I worked hard for a long time, and they don't appreciate it."

Hutt says he hopes conversations will start-up again with Arconic in the near future.

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