Fort Wayne Workers Ready to Negotiate

Foundry agrees to restore concessions in future

Union workers at one Fort Wayne Foundry Corp. plant have reversed their earlier vote against renegotiating their labor contract. Members of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union at one of the foundry's plants in Fort Wayne, IN, originally rejected the company's January proposal to reopen the contract, seeking wage and benefits concessions.

Fort Wayne Foundry manufactures engine manifolds for General Motors Corp. It operates three foundries and a machining plant in Fort Wayne and Columbia City, IN. Workers at the other two plants initially approved the company's proposal; at the other two plants, workers (some affiliated with the United Autoworkers union) rejected it.

The company is asking the workers for a 10% wage cut and a new, estimated monthly contribution of $100 toward the workers' health-insurance premiums. Currently, the workers pay no premiums.

Fort Wayne Foundry is trying to implement a new business plan it says will restore its profitability and ensure job security.

The GMP workers' change of heart came after the company agreed to address job-security issues and return the wage/benefit concessions at a date to be negotiated, according to the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette.

The business plan also reveals that Fort Wayne Foundry has been awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to produce aluminum engine components for GM. Work on that assignment would begin next January and reach full production in late 2006. It would increase Fort Wayne Foundry's annual sales by about 40%, the Journal-Gazette reports.

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