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Aluminum Smelter Could Face Strike

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Aluminum Smelter Could Face Strike

Aluminum smelter in Straumsvík.

From Straumsvík. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Negotiations between Rio Tinto Alcan and the unions of workers at the aluminum smelter in Straumsvík, outside the town of Hafnarfjörður, which Rio Tinto operates, have been unsuccessful, RÚV reports. A spokesperson for the aluminum smelter hopes a strike can be avoided.

A strike of 300 workers is scheduled to begin December 2 if no settlement is reached. The next meeting between the negotiating parties is planned for tomorrow. Rio Tinto Alcan would like to hire more contractors, to which the unions are opposed.

Ólafur Teitur Guðnason, a spokesperson for Rio Tinto Alcan, claims the first pots will be shut down December 2, but it takes two weeks to shut the smelter down completely. Workers have agreed to be available for two weeks to complete the shut-down process, in case of a strike. Restarting the smelter is very costly, according to Ólafur.

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