Illegal Lockout at Sherwin Alumina Costs Company Profits and Production

Glencore Results Reveal Second-Half Production Down 25 Percent

Contact: Ben Lilienfeld, (832) 556-0370, blilienfeld@usw.org

GREGORY, Texas (March 3, 2015) — The United Steelworkers (USW) today responded to the annual results issued by Sherwin Alumina’s parent company, Glencore.

Glencore reported that Sherwin Alumina had an adjusted operating profit of $45 million for calendar year 2014, including the impact of the labor dispute which began October 11, 2014. Sherwin Alumina’s revenue during the second half of 2014 declined by $37 million or 14 percent from the first half of the year and by $74 million or 25 percent from the second half of 2013. 

Production at the alumina refinery during the second half of 2014 fell by 170,000 or 22 percent from the first half of the year and by 220,000 or 25 percent from the same period in 2013.  No quarterly or detailed financial results were made available for Sherwin Alumina.

“The results confirm that with a skilled workforce, Sherwin Alumina has a competitive cost structure and is well positioned for the future,” said USW District 13 Director Ruben Garza.  “Had Sherwin Alumina not lost 120,000 metric tons of production due to its illegal lock out, it would have reported $40 million more in revenue and $7 million more in operating profits.”

“Sherwin Alumina reported strong results for the year,” said Ben Lilienfeld, USW District 13 sub-district director. “But most of that was with its skilled, experienced employees in the plant.  The company has not released any financial results on its financial performance since it began the lockout.”

“Sherwin’s profitability for the year also stands in stark contrast to the company’s claims that it needs to  eliminate retiree health care benefits, eliminate scheduled overtime pay and limit pension coverage to position the company for the future,” Lilienfeld said.

“Once again, the union calls on the company to end this illegal lockout, and to return to the bargaining table,” Garza said.

On October 11, 2014, Sherwin locked out 450 USW members at its alumina refinery in Gregory, Texas. The union’s unfair labor practice charges challenging the legality of the current lockout are being investigated by Region 16 of the National Labor Relations Board.

USW District 13 represents more than 50,000 members in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. 

The USW is the largest industrial union in North America, representing workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments.

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