SCRIBA, NY, – Things are looking good for Novelis and its employees, according to company officials.
Novelis is celebrating its employees this week. “Employees with one to five years of service receive an aluminum ingot. Those with more than five years service (in increments of 5 years) will get a catalog to choose something from,” according to Chris Smith, manager of the Novelis Oswego plant.
“Everything is good with the company and we want to recognize our employees. This is something we introduced globally this year.”
They have also held several meetings with the workforce to talk a little bit about the business, he added.
“Some of the good news is we now have, by way of contracts that we have in place, guaranteed more business, specifically for Oswego,” Smith said Thursday afternoon. “We went into more detail with everybody on site as to the expectations and deliverables and what we are contractually obliged to produce over the life of the contracts.”
In the 51 years that they have been in existence in Oswego, typically the bulk of business and the products that they have been producing have been around annually negotiated business contracts.
“With the bulk of business that we already have under our belt, if you will, we were able now to give the workforce a five-year picture to what the rates and benefits are going to look like through the end of 2019,” the manager said. “In that we can confirm what their annual pay raise is going to be starting the first of January next year. They’re going to get a three percent pay raise through the end of 2019, each year.”
The company has also committed to the J schedule, which has been long-standing at the Oswego facility.
“It is something we look at on an annual basis, based on the portfolio that we have in front of us for the next 12 months,” Smith said. “Our employees work a J schedule. It is comprised of four 12-hour shifts that rotate.”
It’s been in place for almost 20 years.
“The concern we have heard back from the workforce was what impact is it going to have – will we be working different shifts – will we be working days? whatever,” Smith said. “So we took the opportunity, based on the business case, to commit to the next five years to be able to maintain what we call the J schedule for everybody’s that’s hourly paid.”
The plant currently employs approximately 850 people. There will be just over 900 by the end of this year, the manager said, adding they hope to add even more jobs, based on demand, in the future.
Things are looking very good for Novelis, especially in Oswego, Marco Palmieri, senior vice president and president, Novelis North America, told Oswego County Today.
“The first hurdle or touchpoint will be making sure we are ready for the materials supplied to the F-150; we are the lead supplier of the companies that are going to be supplying material for that vehicle. So we have a lot on our plate. It’s a nice problem to have,” Smith said.
Producing more than a billion pounds of high-quality aluminum sheet each year, Oswego is the company’s largest, wholly-owned fabrication facility in North America.
“There is no other site that we have invested or plan to invest as much money in as we will be doing here in Oswego, New York,” the manager said. “We are generating jobs. We are generating business We are altering our footprint as far as the automotive industry in North America. Now this is our opportunity to further grow that. The beneficiary is going to be the Oswego plant.”
Last October, Novelis commissioned a $200 million expansion of its rolling operations in Oswego. The expansion increased the company’s North American capacity for producing aluminum sheet for the automotive industry by 240,000 tons, five times the company’s existing capacity in the region.
“This is a great plant, a great workforce. We melt, hot mill, cold mill here. It makes all the sense to have the finishing lines here; that saves costs. We have many customers in the US, it makes a lot of sense to make the investment here,” Palmieri said. “We had hundreds of contractors working this job. But now, in normal operation, we added more than 100 jobs here.”
Novelis began construction on two new high-performance aluminum processing lines for automotive applications at its Oswego facility in 2011 in response to escalating demand for automotive aluminum sheet in the United States.
Novelis Inc. is the global leader in aluminum rolled products and the world’s largest recycler of aluminum. The company operates in nine countries, has approximately 11,000 employees and reported revenue of $9.8 billion for its 2013 fiscal year. Novelis supplies premium aluminum sheet and foil products to transportation, packaging, construction, industrial and consumer electronics markets throughout North America, Europe, Asia and South America. Novelis is a subsidiary of Hindalco Industries Limited (BSE: HINDALCO), one of Asia’s largest integrated producers of aluminum and a leading copper producer. Hindalco is part of the Aditya Birla Group, a multinational conglomerate based in Mumbai, India. For more information, visit www.novelis.com and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Novelis.