Norandal USA in Newport to lay off 38 workers

Norandal USA in Newport to lay off 38 workers

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Noranda announced Monday it will slash dozens of jobs at its Norandal USA aluminum rolling mill facility in Newport.

The company said it will lay off 38 people from its current workforce of 55.

John Parker, vice president of communications and investor relations, said the plant will retain 17 workers for its coating and slitting operations for coated finstock and container foil products.

Following the reduction, the Newport plant will operate with 15 hourly and two salaried associates, according to an email from Parker.

Parker said they "expect the majority of the activities associated with this workforce reduction to be completed on or around Dec. 3."

The cuts come nearly a year after the company laid off 38 people in December 2014.

At that time Parker cited "increased competition from Chinese imports" for the company's decision to cut jobs.

With Monday's announcement, Parker stated the cuts are "part of a companywide cost reduction effort in response to the current aluminum price environment, where aluminum prices are their lowest levels since the global financial crisis."

When asked if the current layoffs are permanent, Parker told Region 8 News there were "no plans to return those positions at this time." He did, however, state "the facility will retain the equipment capabilities to restart that production if sufficient demand warrants."

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