President of United Steelworkers Local 8-957 speaks out after Morgantown plant officially closes; CISA says plant has other plans

Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 7:53 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - What was known for over five decades as the Mylan Pharmaceutical plant, and is now Viatris has closed.

5 News shared on Friday that their may be some uncertainty about the actual closure after a letter addressed to Senator Joe Manchin stated that the plant, “will remain in place.”

As there is no information to fully confirm CISA’s statement, the president of United Steelworkers Local 8-957, Joseph Gouzd said everyone that worked for or was associated with the plant, have officially left, as the plants closing date was July 31.

“Most of the workers at this point have been released from the plant,” Gouzd said. “They’ve cleaned out their lockers, they’ve turned in their badges and parking permits and they’re off the premises. The only thing left for us now as United Steelworkers, is to accommodate a decommissioning team of approximately 70 people,” he said.

“They will go in and decommission the machines and validate machines and so forth, all the essential things that are necessary for a decommissioning of a pharmaceutical plant,” Gouzd said.

This closure eliminated roughly 1400 workers and over 800 of them are members of the United Steelworkers Union.

Gouzd said in response to the statement from CISA, they are hopeful, however he believes it took too long for state officials to get involved, as workers have been fighting to save the plant for the last seven months.

“We hold hope today through CISA and hopefully some more government influence, we hold hope that our situation and that facility can be utilized for our national defense, and for manufacturing to provide for Medicare, Medicaid, the Veteran’s Administration, our military,” Gouzd said.

“All we want to do is be given the opportunity to produce.”

5 News is still working on learning more about the meaning behind CISA’s statement. We will continue to bring you updates as we receive them.

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