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Union reaches 4-year labor deal with Alcoa

United Steelworkers union members have ratified a new labor agreement with Alcoa Corp. covering workers at five U.S. locations, including the majority of the 70 workers at the company's Arkansas operation in Gum Springs, according to the company and the union.

The four-year agreement also covers employees at Alcoa operations in Indiana, New York, Washington state and Texas.

The contract features yearly wage increases of more than 12% over the term of the agreement and maintains "high-quality, affordable health care coverage," according to the union's release.

Alcoa is a world leader in bauxite, alumina and aluminum products, according to the company. The Gum Springs operation focuses on environmental management, including the treatment of spent material from aluminum smelting operations and other liquid and solid wastes.

The old contract expired in May and union leaders tentatively agreed to the new deal in August.

-- John Magsam

Fed announces $75B in market operations

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve will keep pumping cash into a vital but obscure corner of U.S. financial markets in coming weeks.

The New York Federal Reserve Bank, which handles the central bank's interactions with financial markets, said Friday that it will offer daily repurchase, or repo, operations of at least $75 billion through Oct. 10. The aim is to maintain the Fed's key policy rate within its target range.

For the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed this week conducted a series of major repo operations, injecting $278 billion into the market to deal with a jump in short-term interest rates.

Officials say this week's spike in rates is not a precursor of the type of underlying troubles that preceded the 2008 market meltdown.

In addition to the daily overnight operations of $75 billion, the New York Fed said it would conduct longer 14-day repo operations of at least $30 billion on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of next week.

The Fed began conducting these operations to calm money markets. Rates on short-term repo agreements had briefly spiked to nearly 10% earlier this week as financial firms scrambled to find short-term funding.

-- The Associated Press

State index up 1.68, ends week at 435.73

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Friday at 435.73, up 1.68.

Nine of the 14 stocks rose on a day all three major indexes had sharp losses after news of a setback in trade talks planned for next week between the U.S. and China. The fall halted a three-week gain.

P.A.M. Transportation rose 2.07%, followed by ArcBest with a 1.72% gain.

Bank OZK fell 1.88%.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 09/21/2019

Print Headline: NEWS IN BRIEF

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