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Rally for Retiree Benefits

By: Danielle Staub, Todd Baucher Email
By: Danielle Staub, Todd Baucher Email
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Updated: 8/15/2013 6:20 P.M.

It has now been four and a half years since Century Aluminum's Ravenswood plant closed its doors, and roughly four since its retirees were told their health benefits were being eliminated.

An effort to reopen the plant, to which restoration of those benefits was tied, remains in limbo. And the retirees wait.

"Some of the employees have been called here to the plant by deposition," says Karen Gorrell, Retirees Spokeswoman, "but regarding restoring our benefits they promised they were going to do, no conversation since February."

They've revived a familiar scene: rallying and seeking donations at this site near the entrance to the plant.

Meanwhile, while posting a second quarter earnings loss of nearly $35 million, Century has reached an electric power rate agreement for a plant in Kentucky-something it hasn't been able to do with the Ravenswood plant-and purchased a smelter at another Kentucky facility.

While the retirees frustration continues, Gorrell remains hopeful.

"I may be a fool, but I am totally confident they will stick to their guns and say, 'you take care of the retirees first'. And as long as they're where they are, I feel the retirees are in a good place. If Century ever decides to reopen the plant."

The retirees group plans to be at the east entrance through Friday.

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They won't stop fighting, until they get an answer.

Century Aluminum retiree's sat outside the plant's entrance all day.

They say, they're fighting for what is rightfully theirs.
Back in 2009, Century took their retiree benefits away and they've been fighting ever since.

Retiree Spokesperson Karen Gorrell says, the Plant Manager and a Representative from Senator Manchin's office visited today. Gorrell says this is a step in the right direction.

Retiree John Morris is currently living off his pension but having his benefits stripped really hurt his retirement.

"It's a crying shame, that this kind of thing is going on all over the county, and our government seems to be in favor of it," said John Morris, Aluminum Retiree.

The retiree's have been all over the country fighting for their benfits back. The retiree's said today, the state of West Virginia is behind them and the governor has told them that Century Aluminum has to fix their benefits first, before even thinking about possibly opening back up.


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