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USW members will hold Arconic strike authorization vote Thursday

Amid contract negotiations with Arconic, United Steelworkers Local 105 will vote Thursday whether or not to authorize a strike against the manufacturing company.

BETTENDORF, Iowa — Editor's note: This story previously stated workers will hold a strike vote. That is incorrect— the union will be holding a strike authorization vote, which gives leaders the ability to call a strike if they don't reach a tentative agreement by the time their contract expires on Sunday. 

Members of the United Steelworkers International Union's Local 105 branch will decide Thursday, May 12 whether or not to authorize a strike against Arconic manufacturing company.

USW workers will cast their votes Thursday at the Isle of Capri Conference Center in Bettendorf, according to a post on the USW Local 105 Facebook page.

The vote will give leaders the ability to call a strike if they are unable to reach a tentative agreement by the time their contract expires. 

USW's current contract with Arconic is set to expire at noon on Sunday, May 15. Workers signed a three-year contract back in 2019.

According to Local 105 Guide Lee Shaffer, between 3,200-3,500 union workers work at Arconic's four plants. Of those, 1,800 work at the Riverdale, Iowa plant. 

Shaffer told News 8 that workers want a fair contract for the membership. He said these workers were deemed essential at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic so they want to be treated as essential workers. 

An Arconic spokesperson made the following statement Tuesday regarding the authorization vote:

"Arconic is aware that the USW plans to hold a strike authorization vote, which is a normal step in the bargaining process. We believe we can reach an agreement that is in the best interest of our employees and look forward to continuing negotiations at the bargaining table."

RELATED: What can unions, companies learn from the John Deere strike?

A Contract Countdown Rally, organized by USW, is scheduled to take place 4:30-7 p.m. Saturday, May 14. During the event, members will walk from the union hall at 880 Devils Glen Road in Bettendorf to the main entrance of the Arconic location at 4879 State St. in Riverdale.

Stay up-to-date on Arconic USW contract negotiations by downloading the WQAD News 8 app and subscribing to our YouTube channel.

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