The company said the layoffs are in response to a declining demand for its products. The plant is one of the largest aluminium smelting and fabricating facilities in the world and produces aluminium for beverage and food can ends and tabs.

“This is a difficult but necessary decision,” said Ed Hemmersbach, rigid packaging division location manager. “While we continue to pursue additional business, it is clear that we need to take action now.”

The Warrick Operations employ about 2 100 people, 1 500 of whom are members of United Steelworkers Local 104. Parent Alcoa Inc in New York, USA said it will continue working with the union to review options in the contract to possibly reduce the need for layoffs. The company will try to hold down the number of layoffs by offering early-retirement packages.