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Aleris International seeks U.S. bankruptcy protection

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Filing's impact on Hancock County plant uncertain

By The Staff

LEWISPORT, Ky. - A major local employer filed for bankruptcy protection this month, citing the impact of the global recession.

Aleris International Inc. and its wholly-owned U.S. subsidiaries filed petitions Feb. 12 for voluntary reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The company said the action was taken as a result of financial constraints related to the deteriorating global economic situation, declining industrial demand and a sudden drop in aluminum prices.

Aleris operates a plant near Lewisport that employs approximately 800 people. According to a story in last week's issue of the Hancock Clarion, the company recently laid off 32 people.

The story quoted a company spokesman who said the filing's impact on the local plant hasn't been determined.

Another Hancock County employer, Century Aluminum, closed its Ravenswood, W.Va., smelter Feb. 20. The company eliminated some salaried positions at the local facility earlier this year.

The economic crisis has affected several local employers. Swiss Plywood closed its doors in December.  Thyssen-Krupp Waupaca eliminated 120 jobs at its Perry County foundry and ATTC is offering buyouts in hopes of reducing its workforce by up to one third.