bail out

bail out

New York State Bails Out Massena's Alcoa

15h ago
SOURCE  

Description

Massena - Governor Cuomo and U.S. Senator Schumer today announced that an agreement has been reached that will preserve hundreds of jobs at Alcoa’s operations in Massena, where the aluminum manufacturer had planned to curtail its smelting operations by early next year. Under the agreement, Alcoa will continue operating in Massena and will maintain a workforce level of at least 600 people at the plant for the next three and a half years. New York state has given the corporation 69 millions dollars of tax payer money to bail out the company. An upstate New York smelting plant will be saved for at least 3 1/2 years after state leaders announced Tuesday a nearly $69 million incentive package to stave off 600 job cuts. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Charles Schumer made the announcement at the Alcoa plant in Massena, St. Lawrence County, after the company announced earlier this month it planned to close the more than 100-year-old plant. Schumer and Cuomo teamed up earlier this month with an incentive package for Kraft-Heinz Co. to keep open three upstate manufacturing plants and try to find a new operator for a fourth plant in the Southern Tier. About 940 jobs were on the chopping block. “This is the state’s way of stepping up. We understand the situation. We’ll save those jobs,” Cuomo said. “We want to save that plant. We believe it’s a cycle, and we’ll put our money where our mouth is.” The incentives include $30 million from the New York Power Authority and $38.8 million from Empire State Development, the state’s economic-development arm, for capital improvements and operating expenses for the plant. The agreement requires Pittsburgh-based Alcoa to keep at least 600 jobs through March 2019. If not, the company would be hit with a $40 million penalty, Cuomo said. That’s an incentive package of up to $115,000 per job. The incentives are directly tied to the price of aluminum, Cuomo said: If the price of aluminum increases, the state’s subsides would decline. Schumer said he was caught off guard by Alcoa’s layoff announcement, saying he and Cuomo were not told of the imminent cuts. Then they started negotiating with the company. “Today, after darkening clouds, a bright ray of sunshine shines in the North Country,” Schumer said. Cuomo said he’s focused on improving the upstate economy through new jobs, but sometimes the state needs to step in to keep existing positions. The state has had to battle of series of job cuts in recent weeks. In addition to Alcoa and Kraft-Heinz, Entergy, which owns Indian Point in Westchester County, announced plans to close its FitzPatrick nuclear plant outside Syracuse, which has about 600 jobs. Also, GlobalFoundries laid off about 150 people at its two semiconductor plants in Malta, Saratoga County, and East Fishkill, Dutchess County. “If we’re creating jobs and they are good-paying jobs, everything else will take care of itself,” Cuomo said of helping existing companies. “And if there’s a challenge, this state will step up, and this is just a microcosm of what we can do.” The Empire Center, a fiscally conservative think tank, criticized the incentives, saying on Twitter that it equates to about $65,000 a job, excluding the energy incentives, for an $11 billion company. Alcoa union leader Ernie LaBaff praised the agreement: “Thank all of you for making this the best Thanksgiving of my life.”