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Grede to Close Alabama Iron Foundry

June 30, 2020
A notice filed in early June sets the shutdown date for August 10, affecting 94 workers at the Columbiana plant. The decision is based on "market conditions," according to Grede's CEO.

Grede Holding LLC confirmed a local news report of its plan to close the foundry in Columbiana, AL. A Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice was filed early in June with the Alabama Dept. of Commerce, indicating that 94 employees will be affected by the closing scheduled for August 10.

Upon request, the foundry holding company released a statement from Grede CEO Cary Wood, explaining that the "… decision to close the foundry was based on market conditions, including the COVID-19 pandemic."

Wood further noted that the foundry's employees "were given the opportunity to apply for open positions at other Grede facilities."

Grede operates nine other foundries in Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. In addition, it has specialty machining operations and in North Carolina and Wisconsin, and a plant in Alabama producing foam patterns. The current Grede organization was established in September 2019 when Gamut Capital Management acquired the portfolio from American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings for $245 million.

The Columbiana foundry closing is the third shutdown of a ferrous foundry announced during Q2 of 2020, all concerning plants that supply the commercial-vehicle market. On June 3, Grede announced it had acquired the onetime Navistar foundry in Waukesha, WI, and will close it in the coming months. A total of 119 employees of RMG Waukesha LLC will be affected.

On May 26, Waupaca Foundry announced it is closing its Lawrenceville, PA, foundry in August, eliminating positions for about 200 salaried and hourly workers. That shutdown is "a result of capacity that exceeds demand in the supply chain," Waupaca explained.