Felman Production, USW negotiate contract modification - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Felman Production, USW negotiate contract modification

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Members of the local union lobbied the PSC in Charleston in December to lower Felman's electricity rates. Members of the local union lobbied the PSC in Charleston in December to lower Felman's electricity rates.

Felman Production and the United Steel Workers of America have reached agreement on contract modifications for workers at the company's silicomanganese plant in New Haven, Chief Executive Officer Mordechai "Motti" Korf said.

The Mason County plant has been idle since July 2013.

"We are pleased to reach an agreement with the United Steelworkers Local Union 5171 that allows for important modifications to the current collective bargaining agreement," Korf said. "This necessary development brings Felman another step closer to resuming operations and further strengthens the plant's long term viability. We thank Local 5171 for its support."

The agreement comes just weeks after the state Public Service Commission of West Virginia approved an electric rate discount of up to $9 million a year for the New Haven plant. The special rate plan approved by the state Public Service Commission will calculate the rate of discount each month based on the actual gross margin available in the SiMn market: the gross margin is calculated to be the difference between the market price of SiMn and the market price of the major raw materials that go into SiMn–manganese ore, coke and coal.

At the PSC hearing, Felman executives testified the plant contributes in excess of $187 million per year to the West Virginia economy and supports roughly 524 jobs.

The plant, however, had operated in there'd for at least three years prior to being idled.