St. Louis – JW Aluminum, a signatory to Machinists District 9, will close its plant at 6100 S. Broadway effective May 30.
The plant employs 158 Machinist Union members, many of whom have worked there from 20 to 44 years.
“That’s a lot of history,” District 9 Directing Business Representative Dave Weaver said. “It’s a shame that this facility is closing. I am very upset and concerned for those members who have devoted their lives to make this company great and now the company has turned their back on them.”
The company blamed the closure on Chinese imports.
District 9 Business Representative Joe Eccardt said the union will continue fighting for the plant to remain open until the last day.
Eccardt worked at the plant for 13 years before becoming a union business representative. He and the District 9 negotiating committee, with the assistance of Janine Martin with the Hammond and Shinners Law Firm, bargained an effects package.
Union employees who stay through the plant closing date of May 29, 2020 will receive one weeks’ pay for each year of service, medical benefits through June 2020, all accrued and pro-rated vacation and their achieved stake in the outcome bonus.
In addition, a 24-month reopening of this facility or any other facility within 30 miles of the existing plant will be collectively bargained.
“We were able to achieve a better package than most employees get when faced with this situation,” Weaver said.
JW Aluminum acquired the St. Louis facility from Alcoa in 2004, when Chinese imports of foil represented less than one percent of the total aluminum market. Since then, the company said, Chinese imports of foil have grown to almost a quarter of the market.
JW Aluminum’s has other locations in Mount Holly, South Carolina, Russellville, Arkansas, and Williamsport, Pennsylvania.