Rockefeller joins fight against Century’s retiree health-care benefit cuts

Dec 09, 2010 | 11:37 AM | Anne Riley

Union workers at Century Aluminum Co.'s idled Ravenswood, W.Va., smelter have garnered senatorial support in their fight to retain retiree health-care benefits slated for termination at the end of this month.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D., W.Va.) has pledged his support to the United Steelworkers union, urging the Monterey, Calif.-based company to halt its newest cost-saving plan just weeks before the cutbacks are scheduled to go into effect.

In a letter to Century's top executive, Rockefeller asked the company to reconsider its plans to drop all health-care coverage for plant retirees under the age of 65 beginning Jan. 1.

"These workers, some of whom have spent decades at the company and sacrificed better wages during their working lives for the promise of retiree coverage, deserve better than to have this promise broken after a long career with Century Aluminum," Rockefeller wrote to Logan Kruger, Century's president and chief executive officer. "While I understand your efforts to reduce costs in a difficult economy, it is my hope that Century Aluminum will reconsider this decision, which will be devastating to these retirees."....

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