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Union workers at Special Metals told to leave facility prior to contract expiring

August 11, 2018

HUNTINGTON — Union workers allege they were “kicked out” of Special Metals on Friday at noon as their contracts were set to expire at midnight.

Over 500 union workers at Special Metals in Huntington were told to leave the plant, according to an official with the United Steelworkers Local 40.

Union representatives were in an emergency meeting Friday afternoon and Buddy McCallister with Local 40 said no statement would be issued at the time because the union and the company were still at the negotiating table trying to work out a contract.

Special Metals officials referred comment to David Dugan, director of corporate communications at Oregon-based Precision Castparts, Special Metals’ parent company.

“We are continuing to negotiate with the union in good faith,” Dugan told The Herald-Dispatch via telephone Friday evening. “We did send the workers home at noon on Friday to facilitate an orderly suspension of operations at the plant.”

Dugan said the workers would be paid for the entire day.

Precision Castparts Corp. is a worldwide manufacturer of metal components and products. It serves the aerospace, power and general industrial markets.

The investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, headed by Warren Buffett, entered into an agreement to purchase Precision Castparts in 2015. The deal was worth nearly $32 billion. Berkshire Hathaway agreed to pay $235 in cash per share when the deal was officially completed during the first quarter of 2016.

Special Metals occupies a nearly 130-acre manufacturing plant on Riverside Drive in Huntington. There are fully integrated production facilities, research and development laboratories and administrative offices.

According to its website, the Huntington plant is the company’s principal production site in the country, supported by other facilities at Burnaugh, Kentucky, and Elkhart, Indiana.

Follow reporter Fred Pace at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.

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