March 27, 2012 / 9:54 PM / 8 years ago

Italy, Alcoa strike deal on Portovesme smelter

MILAN, March 27 (Reuters) - Italy’s Industry Ministry and trade unions reached a deal on Tuesday with Alcoa to keep the U.S. company’s Portovesme smelter on the island of Sardinia running until the end of October, unions said.

The U.S. aluminium group had planned to close the plant by mid-year.

Under the agreement, Portovesme workers would go into a temporary layoffs procedure from November if no offer to take over the plant arrived, the FIM-CISL metal workers’ union said in a statement.

There was no immediate comment from Alcoa.

Alcoa said in January it would close the Portovesme smelter as part of its efforts to cut global output and costs. The plan has run into fierce opposition from Italy’s government, Sardinia’s authorities and trade unions.

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