Alcoa has announced that it plans to extend the deadline for the consultation period with the union at its Spanish San Ciprián smelter as it evaluates an offer from the Sanjeev Gupta-led GFG alliance to buy the plant.
In a release that came a day after media reports suggested GFG’s interest in the plant, the European aluminum maker said it would be extending its consultation period for the collective layoffs at the smelter to September 28 as the GFG Group had “publicly expressed interest” in buying the beleaguered plant.
If a sale were to come through, it would include Liberty purchasing only the 228,000mt per year aluminum smelter and casting house, Alcoa noted, while the aluminum facility, which remains off the table, would continue to operate as it is doing now.
On the other hand, if the sale did not take place by September 27, Alcoa will meet for a day with the union to develop a plan that would include government-supported unemployment benefits (ERTE) for the workers being laid off. If the union did not agree on ERTE, Alcoa will begin the process of permanently dismissing the workforce at the smelter, the company added in its statement.
Davis Index had reported earlier that the company’s first round of consultations on collective layoffs had fallen through after it failed to reach an agreement with the union on the ERTE scheme.