CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A three-member labor dispute review panel awarded unemployment compensation benefits Monday to more than 600 workers at Constellium Rolled Products in Ravenswood.
Represented by the United Steelworkers of America, those workers were off the job for seven weeks, beginning Aug. 5. The plant, which sits on the banks of the Ohio River, is a major manufacturer of high-quality aluminum used for airplanes, automobiles and other transportation-related products.
In a secret ballot taken Sept. 20, USW Local 5658 members approved a contract that Constellium had said would be its last offer to the workers.
Courtney S. Sisk, a spokeswoman for WorkForce West Virginia, said "an individual's weekly benefit amount is based on earnings in his base period. The maximum weekly benefit amount is $424. The applicable time period is Aug. 5 to Sept. 23."
After a required one-week "waiting period," Sisk said, each worker should qualify for six weeks of payments, "assuming he/she has filed continued claim forms timely."
Sisk said 609 workers filed for the benefits properly.
The average Constellium worker should get $2,544 under the decision issued by the three-member "labor dispute tribunal," part of the West Virginia Unemployment Compensation Board of Review.
The panel ruled that the workers could receive unemployment benefits because there was no official strike during the "standoff" as negotiations between company and union officials for a new five-year contract were ongoing.