A rally in support of Ormet Corporation will be held Saturday, 3-6 p.m., at Ormet's picnic shelter. According to United Steelworkers Local 5724 President Tom Byers, several local representatives will be speaking at the event including Ohio State Senator Lou Gentile, Ohio State Representative Jack Cera, and Monroe County Commissioners. The public is encouraged to attend the rally, which is being held to show support to save the jobs of USW Local 5724 and salary members of Ormet Corporation, whose jobs could be over as soon as the end of October if Ormet cannot achieve lower power rates from American Electric Power, through the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
According to The Wheeling Intelligencer, a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice was filed late Aug. 8, after Ormet announced the plant would reduce production to just two potlines, one-third of its capacity. This measure affected over 200 individuals, according to a filing with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio by James Burns Riley, chief financial officer for Ormet.
A sale of Ormet to Wayzata Investment Partners is contingent upon Ormet receiving electricity discounts. AEP could raise Ormet's bills to $62.38 per megawatt hour. The rate was just $39.66 per megawatt hour when AEP and Ormet reached a power agreement in 2009, according to Ormet President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Tanchuk.
If a reduced rate power agreement is not reached, Ormet is preparing to close the local plant, resulting in a complete loss of jobs.