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Local laborers protest the hiring of out-of-state, non-union workers at Alcoa Massena Operations to repair a building damaged by fire last March. <br />Photo: Sky Woman Media<br />
Local laborers protest the hiring of out-of-state, non-union workers at Alcoa Massena Operations to repair a building damaged by fire last March.
Photo: Sky Woman Media

Ironworkers angry about outsourced Alcoa recovery work

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Labor unions, tribal leaders, and the mayor of Massena gathered at the Alcoa Plant in Massena Thursday. They're concerned the company is bringing in ironworkers from Texas, instead of hiring locally.

There was a fire at the plant last spring, and Alcoa is rebuilding the roof of its caste house.

Alcoa hired a company called Fluor(Floor) of Irving, Texas to do the work.
Rob Cole is business manager of Iron Workers Local 440 in Massena. He says the Alcoa hasn't spoken with them directly about the issue. But his union called Fluor, and the company told them they were hiring Texas workers for the job.

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Reported by

Julie Grant
Reporter and Producer

"And we tried to tell them, ‘why are you doing that? because we have local labor here that can do the project.’  And we called Alcoa too.  Alcoa’s response was, ‘We’re trying to cut costs.’"

A spokesperson from Alcoa says Fluor got the contract through a competitive bid process.  Alcoa says it has no control over who the contractor hires to do the work.

Cole calls it a slap in the face to local union workers.  Village Mayor James Hidy says Massena is a union community.  And he says it needs those 32 jobs…

"With 11-percent unemployment in the region, in St. Lawrence County particularly, we can’t have people coming from out of state and taking jobs from people in this region.  It’s unacceptable."

Alcoa says it has worked with more than one hundred contractors to clean-up and recover from the spring fire.  The company says more than 85-percent of them have been from the local area.

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