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News stories tagged with "alcoa"

Alcoa Workers Picket Over Contract

Alcoa workers held an informational picket Monday outside the aluminum plants in Massena. Union officials say Alcoa's proposed new contract cuts health care and pension benefits, especially for new employees. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Alcoa Future Uncertain in Massena

The labor unrest comes as Alcoa's future in Massena remains unclear. Alcoa's talks with the New York Power Authority over a new power contract have stalled. The aluminum giant has offered to guarantee 500 to 700 jobs in exchange for locking in some of the lowest electricity rates in the country. That's several hundred fewer than today's employment level of about 1000. The Power Authority is holding out for more jobs. The Power Authority says it's waiting to hear back from Alcoa for talks to continue. Alcoa's Sue LeClair says no meetings are scheduled, but the company is willing to return to the table if progress can be made. David Sommerstein spoke more with Ernie LaBaff about the stand-off. He's president emeritus of the Aluminum, Brick, and Glassworkers Union International.  Go to full article

Mohawks Sue Alcoa, GM Over Health Problems

Akwesasne Mohawks who live on the reservation near Massena filed a class action lawsuit against Alcoa and General Motors Wednesday. The suit alleges toxic chemicals the companies dumped in St. Lawrence River decades ago have caused a myriad of health problems for thousands of people. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Lawmakers Agree on Hydropower Allocation

North Country lawmakers have been at odds over how to retain low-cost power produced at the hydroelectric dam on the St. Lawrence River. On Tuesday they reached an agreement. Legislative leaders in Albany announced a bill that would keep the cheap electricity in Jefferson, St. Lawrence, and Franklin counties. David Sommerstein has details.  Go to full article

Alcoa Offers Jobs, Investment for Power

Alcoa made its first concrete sign that it wants to stay in Massena for the next generation of aluminum production. According to the Watertown Daily Times, Alcoa offered the New York Power Authority a jobs-for-power deal at a meeting last week in New York City. Under the proposal, Alcoa would guarantee 500 to 700 high-wage union jobs in exchange for 30 to 50 years of cheap hydroelectric power. Alcoa currently employs almost 1300 workers at its two plants in Massena. The company would also invest up to $450 million to modernize what is the oldest continuously operating smelter in the world. David Sommerstein spoke with Ernie LaBaff about the proposed contract. He's president emeritus of the Aluminum, Brick, and Glassworkers Union and a former Alcoa worker. LaBaff says the offer is a good starting point.  Go to full article

Alcoa Tries to Clean Grasse River, Again

The EPA is testing new ways to clean up toxic waste in the Grasse River this summer. Alcoa dumped PCBs downstream from Massena before the cancer-causing chemicals were banned in 1979. As David Sommerstein reports, an earlier attempt to cover up the contaminated river bottom failed.  Go to full article

Debate Over North Country's Low Cost Power

There's renewed debate over the future of the North Country's share of cheap electricity produced at the hydropower dam in Massena. The local Alcoa and General Motors plants currently use almost 500 megawatts at below market prices. That's more than the amount of electricity all the households in northern New York use. The agreement expires in 2013. Lawmakers want the industrial giants to extend their side of the deal and commit to providing jobs long term. But if Alcoa and General Motors were to close, people worry downstate interests could grab the cheap power. Two North Country lawmakers are writing bills to stop that from happening. But as David Sommerstein reports, they differ over how to do it.  Go to full article

Aubertine to Host Town Meeting on Power Issues in April

The public will get a chance to weigh in on how to use low-cost power generated at the hydroelectric dam on the St. Lawrence River. Assemblyman Darrel Aubertine will hold a town meeting at Massena High School on April 7th.  Go to full article

Alcoa Restoring 45 Jobs in Massena

Alcoa Metals will re-open several pot lines at its aluminum smelters in Massena. The company expects to hire 45 people over the next three months. Alcoa cited low short-term power costs and increased demand for the re-start.  Go to full article

Conference Challenges Fluoridation

A St. Lawrence University professor is hosting a conference this weekend on the downside of the chemical fluoride. As David Sommerstein reports, Dr. Paul Connett led a successful anti-fluoridation fight in Canton last year.  Go to full article

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