CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Ravenswood's Century Aluminum retirees who lost company-funded health benefits last year met with company officials in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Karen Gorrell, a leader of the group, said that about a dozen retired workers and their dependents talked with Century about their loss of company-funded health benefits last year.
"At this point, we have no agreement," Gorell said. "But there will be further conversations in the near future."
Mike Dildine, a Century spokesman based in Monterey, Calif., did not return a telephone call or an email Friday afternoon.
Gorrell and other retired Century workers and their spouses visited the state Capitol on Friday to thank Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and legislators who have been supporting their efforts.
When Century closed its smelting plant Feb. 15, 2009, it laid off 651 workers.
At the time, Century promised to continue providing health benefits to "early retirees," who retired between the ages of 55 and 65, and to workers who were already retired, as required under its contract with the United Steelworkers of America.
Then, on Jan. 1, 2011, Century cut off all health coverage for early retirees. Century paid COBRA premiums to let retirees keep health insurance for six months. But that health coverage ended in July. (COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.)
Gorrell's husband, Michael, now 64, worked at the Ravenswood smelting plant for 33 years.
She said Century had promised lifelong health benefits in contracts signed with the USWA.
Since Dec. 19, Gorell, along with other retirees and their relatives have been holding what they call an "Occupy" encampment outside Century Aluminum's plant gates.