MARIETTA - A difficult market has caused a West Virginia company that produces silicomanganese to begin layoffs and cutbacks, but there are no plans in place right now for a Marietta company that produces the product to do the same.
Felman Production LLC plans to temporarily idle one of three electric arc furnaces at its ferroalloys plant in New Haven, W.Va., and lay off union workers.
The company says in a news release that several management and contract positions already have been eliminated.
Felman attributes the cuts to a decline in silicomanganese prices and increasing manufacturing costs. The company says the furnace could remain shut down until market conditions improve.
The furnace will be idled on May 31 and layoffs will begin June 3. Felman didn't say how many workers will be laid off.
The plant employs more than 200 members of the United Steelworkers. The company and the union agreed on a new 42-month contract in January.
Eramet Marietta also produces silicomanganese.
''It is always a shame when any company has to make this decision,'' said company spokesperson Joy Frank-Collins.
Frank-Collins said it was too early to tell what this difficult market will mean, but the Marietta plant is committed to maintaining the more than 200 jobs.
''One benefit we have is we produce multiple products and have more variety,'' Frank-Collins said.