Uncertainty looms over the closure of Alcoa’s aluminum smelter in Spain after the company failed to reach an agreement with the unions at the end of its consultation period.
The company said in a statement on August 6 that it had a 15-day grace period to announce its decision on the 228,000mt San Ciprián smelter in Spain after the negotiations broke down.
At the heart of the matter is Alcoa’s proposal to shut down its loss-making unit and temporarily lay off the workers at its aluminum plant.
The company said that during the negotiation period it had offered several options to the workers’ representatives. Apart from temporary layoffs under the Spanish ERTE process, options included an offer to conduct a sale of the smelter, but they were all rejected by the unions.
Alcoa had announced plans to shut down the aluminum smelter at its San Ciprián plant that also consists of an alumina refinery in April and had started an informal process with the unions for a collective dismissal of the workforce in May, followed by the formal process in June that extended beyond the timeline, the company said. It added that the alumina refinery would remain operational.