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Strike at Alcoa's Western Australia alumina operations may extend beyond 4 weeks

A four-week strike at Alcoa Corp.'s Western Australian alumina operations may be extended following a vote by striking workers on Sept. 6, Reuters wrote Sept. 4.

An Alcoa representative said the company had contingency plans in place to continue operations during the strike, adding that the company had not seen any significant impact as a result of the industrial action.

Some 1,500 workers went on strike Aug. 8 at the Kwinana, Pinjarra and Wagerup refineries, the Darling Range project's Huntly and Willowdale bauxite mines and the Bunbury Port after 20 months of negotiations.

The workers previously claimed that the new deals offered by the alumina producer did not offer sufficient job security, which was high on their list of priorities.

Mike Zoetbrood, the Australian Workers' Union Western Australian branch secretary, said the union saw there was no change in Alcoa's stance on the issue of job security, with workers expected to vote against the revised deal. Vote results are due Sept. 7.

The refineries produce about 8% of the world's aluminum supply, or around 9.3 million tonnes, with a further extension to the work stoppage threatening to further stress the commodity's market amid a short supply, Reuters added.

The mines and refineries are owned by Alcoa of Australia Ltd., part of the Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals group, which is 60% owned by Alcoa and 40% by Alumina Ltd.