Alcoa Inc. announces layoffs

Alcoa Inc. announced Monday that it will cut 6,500 jobs at facilities in North America and Europe. Two weeks ago, the aluminum giant announced its intention to close one plant in Lebanon, Pa., which makes products for the automotive and container industries.
   According to Alcoa representative Jake Siewert, the 240 jobs lost in Pennsylvania were included in yesterday's announcement.
   A representative for Alcoa's Elizabethton plant said that all calls concerning layoffs were ordered to be passed along to Siewert at the company's home office in Pittsburgh.
   Siewert said the cuts are part of restructuring program to make the company more efficient. The 6,500 jobs constitute 4.6 percent of Alcoa's international work force of 140,000 employees.
   Siewert refused to say whether or not Alcoa planned further layoffs in its efforts to streamline what is the world's largest manufacturer of aluminum products.
   "There isn't anything more I can tell you today," said Siewert. "As management at individual plants make decisions, we will be letting people know."
   Representatives for Alcoa say that recent acquisitions, such as the company's buyout last year of Reynolds Metals Co. have made the work force reductions necessary.
   According to AP reports, Alcoa chairman and CEO Alain Belda said Monday that " a result of these decisions, Alcoa will emerge stronger, more competitive and better aligned to meet the needs of our customers."
   Siewert said that all cuts announced Monday would affect only Alcoa's European factories, with the exception of the company's Lebanon, Pa., plant closing.