IAM Asks For Washington State Funding to Restore Aluminum Smelter Jobs

IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. submitted testimony in support of funding from Washington state for an aluminum smelter restart project. The project will restore aluminum manufacturing jobs in Whatcom County, reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses and increase energy efficiency.

Nearly two years ago, 700 union members at IAM Local 2379 (District 160) were laid off at the Alcoa Intalco Works aluminum smelter production plant in Ferndale, WA.

“The Western Territory never gave up hope to bring back good union jobs to Whatcom County,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “The IAM, along with our partners and stakeholders, are staying focused on the mission and to bring relief to our highly skilled members who previously worked in this aluminum manufacturing plant. We will continue to ensure that this project makes it over the finish line.”    

READ: IAM, Allies Secure Help for Laid-Off Members at Alcoa Intalco Works

 From the moment to facility was shuttered, the Machinists Union has been working with all willing partners and stakeholders in an effort to reopen the smelter and restore these high-quality union jobs.

“The Machinists Union and our partners are making substantial progress in our efforts to restart operations at the Intalco facility, restore more than 700 direct Union jobs and return sustainable manufacturing to Washington State,” testified Martinez. “However, the funding included in the FY22 Washington State Capitol Budget to modernize the point feed system is critical to the successful reopening of the smelter. For all of these reasons, I strongly support this budget provision and respectfully urge you to retain this vitally important funding in the final budget. I want to thank IAM Local Lodge 2379 Secretary Brian Urban, IAM member and WA State AFL-CIO President Larry Brown for their testimony.”

Read the complete testimony here.

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