Out-of-state Noranda worker speaks out against lack of assistance

Out-of-state Noranda worker speaks out against lack of assistance

(KFVS) - The state of Missouri started taking applications from Noranda employees to help them cover expenses, but some employees will slip through the cracks.

That's because the funds only cover workers who live in Missouri.

“I don’t think it's right," worker Darren Isbell said. "It’s not fair.”

Isbell lives in northwest Tennessee, roughly 60 miles from New Madrid. He said after working at Noranda for the past three years, he deserves the same assistance during layoffs as Missouri residents.

"We paid taxes and everything over there," he said. "We worked side by side and we worked just as hard as they did. We give to the state of Missouri just like they did and they're shutting the door on us."

Before the aluminum plant closed, Missouri lawmakers approved grants to provide help to the 800 laid off Noranda workers.

Each employee will receive $1,250 to help pay for their bills.

However, since the money is coming from a state-run program, only Missouri residents are eligible – leaving workers like Isbell confused.

We reached out the president of the United Steelworkers, Dallas Snider. He said in a statement:

“We’re fighting to get money for out-of-state workers. We’re contacting the state and trying to get money for them that’s set aside for Noranda workers only.”

Isbell said he feels betrayed by Missouri lawmakers.

"I expected them to treat us all the same," he said. "They took money out our check the same, we should be afforded all the same benefits. We got families to support too."

The next round of Missouri residents to apply are:

  1. Last name I to P: Wednesday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  2. Last name Q to Z: Friday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

You can click here for more information.

The Bootheel Regional Planning office (former National Guard Armory) is located in Dexter, Mo. at 105 E. North Main.

If you have any questions, please contact the Bootheel Regional Planning office at 573-614-5178 or at bootrpc@bootrpc.com.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved.