Press Releases

Following Push from Washington Lawmakers, Alcoa Workers Approved for Trade Adjustment Assistance

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Washington, D.C., July 8, 2020 | comments

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor approved a Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) petition filed by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) for the more than 700 workers at Alcoa’s Intalco plant in Ferndale. The TAA petition will provide the workers with the training and resources to help regain employment.

In May, Representative Suzan DelBene (WA-01) and Senator Patty Murray (WA) wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia in support of the petition. They were joined on the letter by Senator Maria Cantwell (WA) and Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02).

“These layoffs could not have come at a worse time amid a global pandemic. The transition for the workers at the Intalco facility won’t be easy but the TAA assistance approved today is a critical resource for them and their families during this difficult time,” said DelBene. “I will continue to support these workers with the resources they need while they retrain and regain full employment.”

“I’m glad to see the Intalco facility’s workers get the critical federal support they need during this transition, and I will continue to do whatever I can in Congress to help bridge the gap for these workers,” said Murray.

“Intalco workers have been hurt by trade disputes and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I’m glad these 700 workers will get support from the TAA program, including extended unemployment payments and retraining at local community colleges. I will continue to fight to support our aluminum workers and protect American jobs,” said Cantwell.

“Alcoa workers deserved better than to have the Intalco plant close. Trade Adjustment Assistance will be helpful for the hardworking women and men who are in a time of great uncertainty. I will continue fighting to ensure workers get the support and resources needed as they adjust and look for new work,” said Larsen.

“We graciously extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who worked so hard to expeditiously secure TAA,” said Zach Griffith, President of IAMAW. “This is a vital resource for our members effected and comes at a very crucial time for many. Many families are struggling right now and this is a much needed resource to help folks get back on track.”

Following Alcoa’s announced curtailment of the Intalco plant on April 22, the four lawmakers wrote to President Trump, urging him and his administration to prioritize resolving the issue of excess Chinese aluminum capacity, which has depressed prices in the global market and harmed American businesses and workers, specifically in Washington state.

The lawmakers also sent a letter to the President and CEO of the Alcoa Corporation on May 6 urging the company to cooperate with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to find a solution to the layoffs at the Intalco facility.

Workers at the Intalco facility can find more information and resources here.

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