Columbia Falls Aluminum Expects 125 Layoffs

By Beacon Staff

COLUMBIA FALLS – Columbia Falls Aluminum expects to lay off about 125 hourly workers when it shuts down a pot line later this month.

Soaring power prices are the main reason that CFAC officials announced a curtailment in aluminum production at the plant this spring. The company gave a 60-day notice of pending layoffs on May 21 and plans to start laying people off over an 11-day period starting on July 21.

CFAC spokesman Haley Beaudry says salaried workers will also be laid off.

Beaudry says shutting down one pot line can leave between 120 and 160 people out of work.

Beaudry says when the layoff decision was made in May, electricity had been predicted to be near $100 per megawatt hour by August. But one quote Monday morning put national markets at $110 per megawatt hour.

Those laid off will be eligible for 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. It’s unclear how long the layoff will last.