CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO — State Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau, today issued the following statement regarding the announced layoffs at Noranda’s plant in New Madrid that will impact around 480 of the 930 people employed at the facility, as well as the announcement that the company may shutter the facility in March if they are unable to receive a lower electrical rate.
“These layoffs are a tremendous blow to our region’s economy, and my thoughts are with all the families who will be impacted,” Wallingford said. “Resuming full production at the New Madrid facility should be everyone’s goal, and I will be working with Sen. Doug Libla, Rep. Don Rone and the Department of Economic Development to explore ways to help the workers impacted by these layoffs.
“The Noranda plant is one of the largest employers in the region, and the jobs at the facility help to support other jobs in communities throughout Southeast Missouri,” Wallingford said. “The New Madrid facility is also of national importance, as it is one of only four remaining smelters in the United States. The Public Service Commission is partly to blame for these layoffs, as they chose to put monopoly utility companies ahead of workers and denied a reasonable reduction in the utility rate for one of our region’s largest employers. I will continue to stand up against bureaucratic policies that harm Missouri workers, and during the coming months I will be working with my fellow lawmakers to explore ways to correct this situation.”