NEW YORK Constellium is
operating its aluminum rolling mill in Ravenswood, W.Va., at a
limited rate with some 300 salaried employees after nearly 700
workers went on strike Sunday, a company spokeswoman told
AMM, declining to comment on specific output
"Limited production work
continues at the facility with salaried personnel," Constellium
After a series of failed
negotiations over a new five-year labor contract, some 700
workers at the site went on strike Aug. 5 (
amm.com, Aug. 6).
The situation at Ravenswood
turned violent Wednesday after a brick was thrown at a truck
driver leaving the facility, Paris-based Constellium said.
"(Wednesdays) action was
inexcusable, and we will support the state police fully as they
investigate this attack and prosecute those responsible," Kyle
Lorentzen, chief executive officer, said in a statement.
The union did not respond to
requests for comment.
According to Constellium, other
incidents of "violence and misconduct" have occurred on the
picket line this past week, including punctured tires, verbal
threats and the harassment of personnel entering and leaving
the plant. Constellium said it is working to control the
alleged violence, but added that its attempts have been
Meanwhile, the union has its own
grievances against the company, having filed on Aug. 3 unfair
labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board
(NLRB). In the filing, the United Steelworkers union alleges
Constellium bargained in bad faith and encouraged workers to
resign their USW membership and cross the union picket
Constellium and members of the
USW Local 5668 began discussions in May to renew a five-year
contract that was initially set to expire on July 15 (
amm.com, July 16). Most of the disagreement
between the two sides has centered around the issue of
health-care benefits, parties said.
Constellium wants to reduce its
health-care costs at Ravenswood, which it estimates are about
two-and-a-half times that of the national average. The union
has rejected the companys offers.
"The unions rhetoric that
we are taking away health care is just wrong,"
Lorentzen said. "This is a very generous offer for what are
already some of the highest paying manufacturing jobs in
Jackson County, and yet the unions negotiating committee
is denying the membership a chance to vote on the offer."
"All we ask for is the ability to take care of our
families," USW Local 5668 President Jason Miller said in a
separate statement. "This community needs good jobs with decent
benefits, and thats what were fighting for."