Help for Longview Aluminum Workers

Oct 19 2001

Department of Labor to Provide Retraining Assistance Under Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, 700 Workers could benefit

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) A provision in the 1974 Trade Act to provide re-training assistance to workers displaced by foreign competition may benefit over 700 workers in Longview, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced today. The workers will be eligible for federal support in the aftermath of the closing of the Longview smelter. The workers will be eligible for cash payments called trade readjustment allowances as well as job training. Allowances may be paid for job search and relocation expences.

"In this time of economic uncertainty, I am pleased that we can provide some assistance to Longview's workers," said Murray. "These are difficult times for families throughout Washington state, and we will continue to do everything possible to support our workers."

In July, the Department of Labor had rejected the request for assistance, on the grounds that the smelters closed down because of high energy prices, not foreign competition. With Sen. Murray's help, the Longview Federated Aluminum Council prevailed, contending that their plant could no longer compete with cheaper oversees aluminum.

The Trade Adjustman Assistance Program, a provision of the Trade Act of 1974, provides funding for worker retraining who been impacted because of foreign competition.