NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13th District, is hoping he can stop a Niles factory from downsizing.
Negotiations are underway right now between the owners of Howmet Aerospace and its union workers. They want to downsize the plant due to lagging business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ryan wrote a letter to company president Merrick Murphy asking him to reconsider. In the letter dated February 5, Ryan urges Murphy to consider other options other than closing down the melt operation. He pledges to help the company find resources and incentives to keep the factory open and workers employed.
“As the vice-chair of the Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense, I have worked with Howmet and the United Steelworkers on a variety of federal matters. I respectfully ask that (Howmet) explore every solution possible before rendering a decision with an indelible impact on the company and employees,” Ryan said. “The United Steelworkers want to be part of the solution and have expressed that to me time and time again over the last several months. I hope that both sides can come together and see an amicable resolution.”
Pittsburgh-based Howmet spun off from Arconic last April. They specialize in jet engine components, aerospace fasteners and other materials.
Howmet temporarily shut down in April after a COVID outbreak. Several hundred employees were laid off from the plant in July 2020.