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The Rockford IL plant produces Gunitebrand brake drums commercial vehicle wheel hubs and wheelend components for North American commercial vehicle manufacturers

Accuride, UAW in Four-Year Deal for Rockford

Nov. 28, 2014
Commercial wheel maker adds iron foundry, machining center to list of labor agreements Gunite brake drums, hubs, wheel-end components Terms not released Follows $61-million investment

Accuride Corporation and the United Auto Workers union have reached a new, four-year labor agreement for 291 hourly workers at company’s plant in Rockford, IL. The plant, an operating unit of the group’s Accuride Wheel End Solutions product line, is an iron foundry and machining operation that produces Gunite-brand brake drums, commercial vehicle wheel hubs, and wheel-end components for North American commercial vehicle manufacturers.

Accuride produces cast steel and forged aluminum wheels, as well as a wheel-end components and cast iron parts for agricultural, construction and mining, and oil-and-gas industry equipment.

Accuride closed a Gunite plant in Elkhart, IN, in 2012,  relocating those machining operations to Rockford. At the same time, it phased out machining at the Brillion Iron Works foundry in Brillion, WI, consolidating those with the Gunite machining capabilities.

Financial details were not revealed for the new contract, which replaces an expiring agreement in place since November 2010. The new contract will be retroactive to November 18 and continue through March 2019.

It is the fourth collective bargaining agreement that Accuride has achieved in nearly two years, starting with a March 2013 deal for the Canadian Auto Workers members at a London, Ont., steel wheel plant; a November 2013 contract with the United Steelworkers at the Brillion Iron Works; and a new deal reached in May of this year for UAW members at an aluminum wheel finishing plant in Erie, PA.

"Accuride greatly appreciates our Rockford associates' commitment to creating an industry-leading, globally competitive facility,” Accuride president and CEO Rick Dauch commented. “This shared achievement underscores the talent and dedication of our Rockford team and follows Accuride's three-year, $61-million investment in new production equipment and process upgrades that is enabling them to achieve world-class quality and operating performance.”

Dauch also offered assurance that the new agreement would mean Gunite products will continue to be available to OEM customers.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)