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Special Metals lays off 81 workers throughout region

Oct. 09, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Special Metals laid off 74 workers from its Huntington plant and seven from its plant in Burnaugh, Ky., on Monday.

"The layoffs were due to adverse general industrial market conditions," said Dwight Weber, spokesman for Precision Castparts Corp. of Oregon, which owns Special Metals. Those who were laid off worked primarily in production and maintenance.

"We will recall them as business improves," Weber said.

Following the layoffs, 542 hourly employees remain at Huntington and 125 at Burnaugh, he said.

Formerly Inco Alloys, Special Metals in Huntington manufactures high-performance nickel alloys for the aerospace, gas well and other industries. It's located at 3200 Riverside Drive.

The plant has suffered layoffs every year since 2009, with some rounds being temporary.

In February 2011, the company permanently laid off 62 employees at the Huntington plant and eight at the Burnaugh plant. In July 2010, nine salaried employees were affected by reorganization. In early 2010, 85 hourly employees were laid off at both plants, 66 in Huntington.

In 2009, 91 employees were affected by two rounds of layoffs. The company also shut down operations for five days in May 2009.

In the years before the recession, the company was doing well locally. Precision Castparts spent more than $20 million in capital improvements to the Huntington plant during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008.

In August of this year, Precision Castparts reported a 19 percent increase in first quarter net income for fiscal year 2013, but warned of "major headwinds."