Aluminum Contract Reflects Profit Gains

By Ruben, George | Monthly Labor Review, September 1988 | Go to article overview

Aluminum Contract Reflects Profit Gains


Ruben, George, Monthly Labor Review


Improved sales and profits were reflected in developments in the aluminum industry. At Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp., a settlement with the United Steelworkers provided for economic gains for employees, in contrast with the 3-year agreement negotiated in 1985, which cut compensation by an average of $4.50 an hour. At that time, Kaiser said the reduction was necessary because of a worldwide oversupply of aluminum and high energy costs.

Elsewhere in the industry, the Aluminum Company of America and Reynolds Metals Co. began negotiations with the United Steelworkers and the Aluminum, Brick, and Glass Workers almost a year in advance of the scheduled June 30, 1989, expiration date of their current agreements. The unions, each of which represents some employees at both companies, asked for the early negotiations in an effort to take advantage of the improved conditions in the industry by recouping the $1 an hour compensation cut they had accepted in 1986 and gaining further increases in new contracts to become effective immediately. This would also put bargaining back on the same 3-year cycle as at Kaiser, which broke away in 1985 because its financial difficulties were more severe than those of the other companies. …

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