Union says ratifies contract at 11 Alcoa operations in U.S.

June 6 Fri Jun 6, 2014 11:28pm EDT

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June 6 (Reuters) - Unionized workers at aluminum producer Alcoa Inc have voted in favor of a new five-year labor agreement that covers some 6,000 workers at 11 U.S. locations, the United Steelworkers union said on Friday.

The two sides had reached a tentative agreement last month, hours before the previous contract was due to expire, after deadlocking on issues such as wages and healthcare premium increase.

The new contract includes a ratification bonus of $1,000 and general wage increases averaging $3.22 per hour, a 14.2 percent increase on the previous contract, the Steelworkers said in a statement.

A statement from Alcoa was not immediately available.

The new agreement, which will expire on May 15, 2019, also "preserves" active employee and retiree health care benefits with no changes to health care contribution rates.

Labor negotiations came at a time when Alcoa has been cutting capacity at its smelters to stem a growing aluminum surplus that has depressed prices and made a large number of plants uncompetitive.

(Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Michael Perry)

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