Sebree

Century Aluminum Reaches Five Year Deal With Union

Jul 23, 2014

A Webster County aluminum smelter and its workers have reached a new, five-year collective bargaining agreement covering about 400 hourly workers.

The deal between Century Aluminum Sebree LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Century Aluminum Co., and the United Steelworkers Local 9443-00 is effective through October 28, 2019.

Sebree's plant manager, Jason Young, says the deal will keep the plant competitive in the aluminum market.

Century acquired the smelter in June 2013 from Rio Tinto Alcan.

Another western Kentucky aluminum smelter has given notice that it intends to shut down in a year because of increasing electric rates.

Media reported the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter in the Webster County town of Sebree gave notice Friday of its intention to follow the lead of Century Aluminum in Hawesville. Century filed its notice in August.

The notice from Rio Tinto Alcan comes as Big Rivers Electric Corp. seeks a substantial rate increase citing the impending loss of Century, its biggest customer.

Rio Tinto Alcan spokesman Kenny Barkley said Big Rivers is seeking a rate increase from $50 per megawatt now to $60 per megawatt, and that rate isn't sustainable. The smelter has 488 employees.

Preliminary findings from a study commissioned by lawmakers to help find a solution to a rate dispute between two western Kentucky aluminum smelters and a regional utility painted a grim outlook.