MARSTON - A major steel-working company's attempt to cut costs will affect hundreds of individuals, including several local residents.
Noranda Inc. has announced company-wide measures to improve its cost structure, productivity and financial flexibility. The move effects 223 employees worldwide, including 41 in U.S. operations. Twenty salaried positions at New Madrid's Primary Products division are effected by the cost cutting plan.
Noranda President and Chief Operating Officer Derek Pannell made the announcement from Noranda's Toronto headquarters, saying: "It is essential for Noranda to take the steps necessary to position itself better in the long term, once this current challenging economic period is over. This is all part of a plan aimed at building a stronger operating base and allowing us to seize growth opportunities."
Noranda-New Madrid Primary Products President Steve Heddle remarked in a news release that it is a difficult period for all sectors of the world's economies, particularly the metals industry. He said in order to help align the organization with the economy and low metal prices it was necessary to reduce the work force by 20 and invoke a hiring freeze.
"I sincerely regret that we have made the decision to reduce our salaried work force," Heddle said. "However, these are very challenging times and steps had to be taken to ensure the viability of our business."
Noranda-New Madrid employees 1,100 people from over 40 communities in five states. The announcement reduces the salaried work force from 245 to 225. Production workers at the New Madrid facility are represented by United Steeleworkers Local 7686.
Noranda produces 500 million pounds of quality primary aluminum products each year and ships its products to customers throughout the U.S. and Mexico.