Auto Service World
News   June 15, 2004   by Auto Service World

Federal-Mogul Moves to Close Bearing Plant In Midst of Labour Dispute

Federal-Mogul Corp. said Monday it was moving to close an bearing plant in western Michigan after workers rejected a contract that would have cut their wages, vacations and health benefits.
The automotive supplier has been seeking $5.35 million to $5.5 million U.S. in wage and benefit concessions in exchange for keeping the company’s Greenville plant open and preserving its 310 jobs.
On Sunday, members of United Auto Workers Local 2017 rejected the deal. A message was left for union officials Monday seeking comment. “It is with regret that we will now need to begin negotiations of a plant-closing agreement,” Federal-Mogul said in a news release.
The company said it hoped the employees would reconsider before the current union contract expires July 23. Without the concessions, Federal-Mogul had said that it planned to close the plant and move the work to a place where labour and operating costs are lower.
Spokesman Sean Patrick said the company has not indicated where it would move production. It now operates in 29 countries.
“It is very unfortunate we’ve reached this juncture,” said Scott Pepin, personnel director for Federal-Mogul’s powertrain group. “Our objective has always been to keep this facility open.
“Many people on both sides of the table put a lot of hard work into creating a package that would keep Greenville working,” Pepin said. “It is disappointing that all that hard work was thwarted.”
Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s office had been working with the company and local officials for financial incentives to keep the plant open. Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said the governor had been following the vote.

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