CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Hundreds of steelworkers in Jackson County ended a weeks-long strike Wednesday night, voting in favor of a new, five-year contract.
The vote was taken by secret ballot among all union workers at the United Steelworkers Local 5668 union hall near Ravenswood. Vote totals have not been released.
About 700 production and maintenance employees represented by Local 5668 went on strike at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 5, after failing to reach an agreement with negotiators on collective bargaining efforts to reduce health care benefits for workers.
With about 1,000 total workers, Constellium's aluminum plant in Ravenswood is the county's largest employer.
Constellium said Thursday that it will take about a week to resume normal operations at the plant.
Calls to Randy Moore, sub-district director for the United Steelworkers in West Virginia, were not immediately returned. He told other media outlets there was some disappointment on both sides of the vote.
Union members would not speak to reporters gathered near the union hall Wednesday evening. The hall is on a hill near the plant.
As union members exited the hall, one said shouted that reporters were on private property and that all non-union members were to leave.
Constellium and the steelworkers have been at odds over a new collective bargaining agreement that would change workers' health insurance benefits.
The company currently pays 100 percent of workers' insurance premiums, though employees do pay some co-pays. The new contract would have the company paying 95 percent of the workers' premiums, leaving the worker responsible for the remaining 5 percent.
Under the old contract, policyholders did not have a deductible, and co-pay amounts ranged from $10 for visits to primary care physicians or specialists, to $20 for emergency room visits, according to a benefits chart on the Constellium website.