Alcoa Union Workers Approve Four-Year Deal

Agreement calls for annual wage increases, but workers will have to start paying health-care premiums.

Alcoa Inc., the world's largest aluminum producer,  said Friday that 9,000 of its union workers approved a four-year labor agreement, averting a strike at 15 of its plants.

Under the agreement, union workers represented by the United Steelworkers will receive annual wage increases but will have to begin paying health care premiums, among other items. The union workers represent about 20 percent of the Pittsburgh-based company's U.S. employees, but only about 7 percent of Alcoa's global work force of 129,000.

A tentative agreement was reached earlier this month, avoiding what would have been the union's first strike at Alcoa since 1986. 

The company will record a charge of 4 cents per share in the second quarter related to the contract and preparations Alcoa took in the event there was a strike.

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