The Times West Virginian

October 28, 2006

Novelis workers approve contract

Details about ratification vote, terms of three-year deal not released

By Bill Byrd

FAIRMONT — About 170 union workers at the Novelis Light Gauge Aluminum products plant in Fairmont approved a new three-year contract on Friday, a union official said.

“It’s good news. Now we can move on,” said Mike Stingo, president of Local 1 of the United Steelworkers.

The current three-year contract will expire at midnight Oct. 31. Earlier this week, the union workers rejected a contract offer.

Company officials could not be reached for comment Friday night. Stingo announced the contract ratification shortly after 8 p.m.

He declined to release details about the ratification vote and the new contract itself.

The workers voted on the contract at a Friday morning meeting held at the Circle W union hall on Morgantown Avenue.

Wages, health-care benefits and a defined benefit retirement plan were all issues in the contract talks, however, Stingo said.

According to the company’s Web site — www.novelis.com — the Fairmont plant supplies roughly 70 customers.

The Speedway plant makes industrial “fin stock” and does foil rolling. Fin stock is used for heat exchangers in car radiators and condensers. It is also used in home and commercial cooling systems, according to the Web site.

“The Fairmont plant is the leading supplier of fin stock to the automotive market in North America and plays a leading role in the industrial fin stock market,” the Web site states.

Novelis Inc. is the world’s largest aluminum rolled products company based on shipment volumes. Novelis was formed as a spinoff of Alcan Rolled Products Co. in late 2004.

The local plant was built in 1919. It was originally built to be a brass mill. But in 1926, the plant was converted and renamed Fairmont Aluminum.

E-mail Bill Byrd at bbyrd@timeswv.com.