CHARLESTON- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is wading into the ongoing strike at a Jackson County aluminum mill.
Tomblin is holding a meeting today with representatives from Constellium Rolled Products and United Steelworkers Local 5668.
"It's extremely important for Constellium and its employees to reach an agreement," Tomblin said. "(Today), I'm bringing together both parties in hopes that they can resolve their differences and end the work stoppage.
''A successful resolution to these negotiations is very important to Jackson County, the over 1,000 workers employed by the company, and the entire state of West Virginia. I remain committed to working with all those involved, and I'm hopeful tomorrow will bring us closer to a positive resolution," Tomblin said.
Constellium's Ravenswood rolling mill is Jackson County's largest employer. But its more than 1,000 workers have been on strike since Aug. 5 after contract negotiations broke down.
Tomblin said Tuesday he hopes to help the two sides resolve the impasse.
Union workers voted down a five-year contract proposal in July. Constellium has since dropped its demand that they all enroll in the company health plan. But it still seeks to require those who do sign up to start paying monthly contributions toward their health benefits and share future cost increases.
Officials with Constellium said the company is planning to attend the meeting.
Representatives of Local 5668 did not return messages left at their offices or via email.
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said he was glad both sides will be talking to each other.
"I'm very pleased to see both sides are meeting to work toward an agreement that's fair to everyone,'' he said. ''I'm hopeful an agreement will be reached, and I'm thankful for Governor Tomblin's work in moving us all closer to that goal."