The American group Alcoa today announced the closure of the factories of Avilés (Asturias) and A Coruña, which employ a total of 686 workers, and has justified this decision in that they are the least competitive of the group, present structural problems and record "significant" losses.
The multinational, one of the largest aluminum producers in the world, has announced the start of a procedure collective dismissal that will affect all the employees of these plants (317 in Avilés and 369 in A Coruña) and is committed to work to reduce the impact of this process on employment and negotiate a social plan with the unions.
As indicated by Alcoa, the analyzes carried out on the productive situation of the operations in Spain conclude that Organizational improvements could be achieved with the cessation of production in Avilés and La Coruña, maintaining production in a single plant, that of San Ciprián, in Lugo, which produces both aluminum and alumina.
Alcoa has underlined that the productive and technological structural problems, its lower production capacity, a less efficient technology, the high fixed costs, together with the overcapacity of production in China, the high price of raw materials and the cost of energy, they have generated "significant" losses in these plants in the last two years, which are expected to continue.
Further, The company has also advanced that it has made "significant efforts" in recent years to reduce the costs of these plants and maintain employment.
However, the company points out, due to older and less efficient technology, economies of scale and other factors, these plants continue without being competitive.
According to your data, The primary aluminum production capacity of Avilés and La Coruña is 93,000 and 87,000 metric tons per year, respectively.
Before the announcement of the closure of both plants, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, spoke with the presidents of the Principality of Asturias, Javier Fernández, and the Xunta, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, as well as with the mayors to work jointly in the maintenance of industrial capacity and employment in the area, and announced on their Twitter account that they will hold a meeting in the coming days.
For this Friday, Fernández and Feijóo are scheduled to meet in Oviedo to analyze Alcoa's decision and coordinate a coordinated response.
In addition, the Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, has said that something "does not square" in the explanations of the aluminum manufacturer Alcoa, and has advanced that its decision may lead to review and delay the next auction of interruptability.
The Government has shown its "surprise" and "concern", and has acknowledged that during the contacts maintained in the last three months the North American multinational had never reported that it could take a decision in this regard, as it has finally transferred to the Ministry this morning "unilaterally."
In addition, Alcoa has requested more information to help find a solution to this situation and has transferred the company to start a negotiation process to find alternatives with the aim of maintaining the productive capacity of both plants.
The workers, who defend that both plants can be viable, have already announced that they will undertake mobilizations before a decision that places them "on the verge of beginning", and today they have started the protests with blockades for the departure of trucks from the A Coruña plant .
The president of the Xunta has indicated that, after the change in the central executive, there are budgets for the electrointensive companies, Alcoa among them, that have not yet been distributed, and has acknowledged that they have no fluency with the Ministry or answers.
For their part, the Asturian government rejected Alcoa's decision and criticized "the unusual way of proceeding."
The PP of Asturias has attributed the decision of Alcoa to close its plants of Avilés and A Coruña to the "irresponsible energy policy" of the Government that, in its opinion, has facilitated the justification of that measure, while the Deputy of Ciudadanos Armando Fernández has demanded today the Principality and the Asturian Socialist Federation "to leave the comfort zone" and demand "with forcefulness" the implication of the Executive.
The Asturian Socialist Federation (FSA-PSOE) has expressed its "total and absolute" rejection of the decision and the mayor of Avilés, Mariví Monteserín, has declared that it will exhaust all its capacity to revert Alcoa's intentions.
UGT has requested the withdrawal of the Employment Regulation File (ERE) in the factories of Alcoa and has assured that there are no productive causes that justify its closure and IU Asturias has demanded to the autonomic Government a demanding position with the Government of Pedro Sánchez so that look for solutions.