Congressman Tim Ryan Statement on Howmet and United Steelworkers Agreement to Maintain Melt Operations and Extend Contract
Niles, OH – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today responded to the Howmet and United Steelworkers (USW) agreement to maintain melt operations and extend the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) contract. Ryan has been in continuous contact with the USW and Howmet during talks to downsize the local plant operations and potentially shutter the melt furnace due to lagging business activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ryan had recently penned a follow-up letter to the president of Howmet Structure and Wheel Systems, urging Howmet management to consider other options rather than closing down the melt operation. He pledged to help identify resources and incentives to help keep the factory open and keep Steel Workers employed. Read the full text of the letter here.
“COVID-19 has disrupted every aspect of our lives and our economy, and the aerospace and defense industry has not been immune. The negotiations to downsize the Niles plant were especially concerning given the local workforce that resides in Niles and the surrounding communities. These conversations are never easy, but several tough decisions had to be made. The reduction in workforce is painful, especially to the families who will lose a working paycheck – my heart goes out to them. However, the agreement to extend the contract through April of 2024 and keep the melt furnace operating is a huge win for the viability of the plant. I made clear in my conversations with Howmet leadership that keeping the furnace operating was paramount. I want to acknowledge and thank the hard work of Jose Arroyo, Terry Thirion, Mike Mignogna, and many others of the USW team that negotiated this agreement under tremendously difficult circumstances. As Vice Chair of the Defense Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fight for Howmet and the United Steelworkers on a variety of federal matters impacting their business and livelihoods,” said Congressman Tim Ryan.
“These were challenging negotiations and while we did not win everything we wanted, the final outcome means Howmet’s Niles plant will continue to employ our members for the foreseeable future and be the beneficiary of millions in new investments that will make our facility more competitive,” said Terry Thirion, Local 2155 President. “We are grateful to the negotiators, all our members, and all those in the community who supported us, including Congressman Tim Ryan whose assistance and support was highly valuable to achieving this outcome.”
Howmet, a Pittsburgh-based company that spun off from Arconic in April of 2020, is a lightweight metals engineering and manufacturing leader specializing in jet engine components, aerospace fasteners, aerostructures, and forged aluminum wheels.