CHICAGO Only a
skeleton crew of about 40 hourly workers and a "small" salaried
work force remain on the job at Ormet Corp.s smelter in
Hannibal, Ohio, according to a United Steelworkers union
The bankrupt aluminum
producer, also based in Hannibal, previously employed a minimum
of some 650 workers to qualify for electricity discounts under
the terms of an agreement with Columbus, Ohio-based utility
American Electric Power Co. (AEP), said John Puskar, a staff
representative for USW District 1, which represents workers in
Apart from the
skeleton crew, which is working to "bump" motors, winterize the
plant and perform maintenance, "all the rest were laid off,"
Puskar said in an e-mail, adding that all six of Ormets
potlines in Hannibal are now shut down. The company for several
months had been running only two of the six, he said.
News of the reduced
staffing levels at Ormet came as the company was granted
another extension of its deadline to file a Chapter 11
reorganization plan, according to documents filed Oct. 16 in
U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
Ormet now has until
Feb. 20 to file a reorganization plan and until April 22 to
gain creditors acceptance of the proposal, according to
an order signed by Judge Mary F. Walrath.
The mass layoffs and
the potline shutdowns came after Ormet failed to win approval
for a lower fixed power rate or to gain permission to break its
agreement with AEP so that it could buy electricity on the open
market in 2014 (
amm.com, Oct. 4).