Monday, January 09, 2012


I think I will let the wife of one of these retired workers provide the introduction to this post.  Her comments are taken from the web page of WSAZ News.

These men worked hard for many many years to be able to have insurance when they retired, it was included in the labor agreement. On Dec 31, 2010 at midnight , those benefits were stolen from them. These are people that did not make outrageous wages as a matter of fact electricians received top pay at 18.** an hour plus health insurance. AEP electricians get more than that without a union. These men agreed to lower wages to get and keep health insurance. The healthcare bill that passed is going to be too high for these workers to afford to pay, and therefore they will not receive the health care they deserve and worked so hard for! This company is not out of business, they have at least 2other plants open and their stockholders are still making money. This decision to take retiree health insurance effected only this plant. All of their other plants are running with no changes as far as we know.

The following is from WTAP.

Posted: 5:13 PM Jan 9, 2012
Retired Workers Occupy Century Aluminum
They call themselves old and cold. Retired Century Aluminum workers are sticking together and they're not going anywhere.
Reporter: Shannon Houser 
width:250 and height: 140 and picwidth: 240 and pciheight: 134
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From Occupy Wall Street to occupy Century Aluminum. These protesters aren't fighting for jobs though, they're retired. they're fighting to get their benefits back.

"We're trying to get our insurance back they took away from us. They just wrote us a letter and said we got none, and they promised us for life," retiree, Charles King says.

Insurance that's crucial to the health of these retired workers, especially King.

"I had a stroke and had cancer and a couple mini-strokes. I ain't too good of health, but I'm still here kickin."

These retirees have only being occupying this area for a few weeks, but they say their fight began years ago.

"We just go to Charleston legislatures and talked to the governor and Rockefeller and Manchin and they all said they wouldn't sign legislation to give them a break on their electricity until we got our insurance back."

With just a bonfire, a few tents, and no sign of Century Aluminum giving in, these determined retirees are sticking it out till the end.
"We're not leaving. We're gonna be right here through the duration."

Senator Joe Manchin released a statement in his support for this retired workers saying;

"I strongly believe that those who have worked hard for their benefits should get the compensation they have earned and deserve and I have been - and will continue to be - very supportive of Century's retirees in their fight for health care. I have personally sat down with Century retirees and my office continues to work with them in meetings with other federal agencies to come up with the best possible ways to find affordable health care. I am hopeful that a reasonable compromise can still be reached in this dispute, and my office and I will continue to offer any assistance that we can for these retirees who are fighting for their families and their health care benefits."

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