The United Steelworkers International Union has authorized USW Local 105 to conduct a strike authorization vote.

In an announcement on USW Local 105’s Facebook page, the vote is scheduled to happen Thursday, May 12 at the Isle of Capri Conference Center, to authorize a strike if an agreement is not made between Arconic Manufacturing and USW Local 105. The current contract is set to expire Sunday, May 15 at noon.

At issue is that USW Local 105, which represents those who work at Arconic, Sivyer Steel and Bowe Machine, wants its members at Arconic to have an essential worker contract. According to Local 105’s Facebook page, Arconic issued a letter dated March 21, 2020, stating that the company is part of the national critical infrastructure, and employees are considered essential workers. As such, steelworkers were required to work during the pandemic and were not allowed to quarantine. USW Local 105 representative Lee Shaffer said it’s a matter of being paid like essential workers, as well as retaining benefits and their retirement benefits.

In response, Arconic released the following statement:

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.

John C. Riches, Arconic Communications & Public Affairs Manager, Davenport Works

Arconic specializes in lightweight metals engineering and manufacturing.