Union Fights to Ensure Federal Laws Apply to Magnitude 7 and Matt Lucke Faces Accountability

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While the USW continues working to find jobs, training and financial help for more than 400 members and their families who were impacted by Matt Lucke’s decision to close the Magnitude 7 smelter, we also continue fighting to hold Lucke and Mag 7 accountable.

The USW will soon file a lawsuit against Mag 7 in federal court for violating the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which was intended specifically to prevent employers from laying off large groups of workers without notice.

Although the court cannot force Mag 7 to restart operations over a WARN Act violation, if the company is found guilty, the penalty would be 60 days’ worth of pay to each impacted employee.

On September 28, 2023, the USW filed unfair labor practice charges against Mag 7 over unilateral changes to sick leave, health care and retirement benefits, but Region 15 of the National Labor Relations Board has not yet made any determination.

Our union may pursue additional unfair labor practice charges against Mag 7 if the company continues to refuse to bargain over the effects of management’s disastrous decisions.

Dating back to 2018, Mag 7's unfair labor practices include refusing to recognize the union and denying employment to former employees for being union members, unilaterally changing the scope of the bargaining unit and discriminating against pro-union activities.

We also appreciate our elected officials looking into potentially applying the Defense Production Act. While we agree that our nation’s ability to produce aluminum is absolutely critical to our national security, the company needs to participate.

For DPA to work, the government needs a long-term operator and a willing partner, and the more we learn about Matt Lucke, the less qualified and committed he appears.

Members should be sure to stay in contact with USW Local 7686, especially with questions. In the meantime, we will provide updates as the process continues.