400 United Steelworkers on strike at Alabama aluminum plant

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (AP) — More than 400 United Steelworkers members are on strike against the French manufacturer Constellium over what the union on Thursday called unfair labor practices at an aluminum factory in northwest Alabama.

Months of talks failed to yield an agreement before a contract expired on Nov. 1, and workers walked out Tuesday, the union said in a statement. Pickets held signs outside the plant, which previously was owned by Wise Alloys and Reynolds.

Daniel Flippo, the union’s district director, said Constellium wants a contract that would undo decades of progress on issues including safety and seniority to give management “unchecked authority” to decide who works and when.

“We’re going to fight to hold the company accountable and to win the fair contract that USW members have earned and deserve,” he said in a statement.

In a statement, Constellium said the Alabama plant had offered a “very competitive agreement, which provides regular pay raises, strong healthcare and other benefits, as well as ongoing training and development opportunities.”

“We believe that this offer respects the contributions of our employees, protects jobs for local families, and positions the plant for future business,” it said.

Based in Paris, Contellium has about 13,000 employees who work at more than 25 plants in China, Europe and North America, the company’s website says.

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