According to a statement on CenturyAluminum.com, Century Aluminum issued a notice to employees at its Hawesville aluminum smelter of its intent to curtail its plant operations beginning on October 24, 2015 unless the current pricing environment substantially changes.
The announcement was made pursuant to the federal Working Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), which requires companies to warn employees 60 days ahead of a massive layoff.
“We regret the need to issue this notice at this time and fully understand the impact it will have on our employees, in our community and with our customers,” commented Michael Bless, President and CEO. “The simple fact is that the recent significant decline in the aluminum price is being driven by unfair trade behavior over which our industry has no control. Chinese overcapacity and the improper export of heavily-subsidized Chinese aluminum products have undercut an otherwise viable plant. These issues must be addressed immediately. The strategy we set forth for Hawesville continues to be valid. It is solely the collapse in industry pricing, brought about by this improper trade behavior, that has put this excellent plant in jeopardy,” Bless said.
Century Aluminum Media Contact Kenny Barkley told Owensboro Living that the plant is not closing, but it will be “idle, which means we don’t anticipate making any more aluminum after October 31st,” he said.
There are approximately 565 employees at Hawesville.
This action does not affect Century’s Sebree or Mt. Holly operations.