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July 7, 2004

Alcoa to Run Plant Despite the Strike; Remains Open to Discussions

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 7, 2004--Alcoa today said it was prepared for the decision by the Syndicat des Employees de l'Aluminerie de Becancour at its ABI aluminum facility in Quebec to reject the company's final labor proposal. The company had planned for the possibility of a strike, and will continue to run the ABI smelter.

The company presented its final proposal earlier in the week, which included a wage increase of more than 11 percent over the next four years. "Our offer reinforces this workforce's position in the upper echelons of compensation and benefits," said Louis-Regis Tremblay, ABI president and general manager.

The company is open to working with the union to resolve this dispute, but will not change the fundamental terms of its proposal. While management at ABI will work to keep the plant running, the company has anticipated that there will be an impact on production. Given that the alumina market is currently in a deficit, the company is confident that any excess alumina would attract significant interest and be easily sold into the spot market. ABI is a 395,000 metric tons a year facility with three potlines.

ABI is one of 27 smelters within the Alcoa global smelting system. Alcoa's total worldwide capacity is approximately 4 million metric tons per year so Alcoa is confident it can keep the impact to customers at a minimal level.

The company will provide periodic updates on actual production and the status of negotiations, as details warrant.