Failed negotiations leave 15 days to decide future for Alcoa’s San Ciprián smelter

The formal consultation process for collective dismissal at Alcoa’s San Ciprián aluminium smelter in Spain has ended without an agreement with the workers’ representatives, the producer said on Tuesday September 29.

Alcoa now have up to 15 days to determine and announce a decision regarding the smelter’s 228,000 metric tonnes of annual capacity.

An agreement was previously reached with the workers’ representatives for the smelter in Spain to extend the deadline of the formal consultation period for collective dismissals to September 28, 2020. During this extended consultation period, Alcoa said they would consider a potential sale of the aluminium plant to GFG Alliance.

But after a comprehensive negotiation process, GFG Alliance and Alcoa did not agree on terms, Alcoa said, adding that the alumina refinery at San Ciprián was not included in the consultation or the sales process.

“Per an agreed-upon timeline, if a sales agreement was not reached by September 27, 2020, Alcoa and the workers’ representatives would then meet for one day to agree on a social plan that would include government-supported unemployment benefits (ERTE) or the implementation of a permanent collective dismissal,” Alcoa’s statement said on September 29.

“On September 28, 2020, the workers’ representatives declined to agree on a social plan and Alcoa has 15 days, per Spanish regulations, to make a decision,” Alcoa added. 

The process has been ongoing for a number of months – with Alcoa launching the original informal process with the workers’ representatives to discuss collective dismissals on May 28.

Back in June, Alcoa provided a reorganization plan that aimed to stop persistent and recurring financial losses at the aluminium plant, which recommended a curtailment of the smelter while keeping a portion of the site’s casthouse operational.