Accuride Locks Out Gunite Foundry Workers

Nov. 21, 2007
Company wants UAW to allow workers to vote on contract proposal
Accuride Corp. implemented a lockout of workers at its Gunite Foundry in Rockford, IL, on November 18, explaining that the leadership of the United Autoworkers union will not allow the local members to vote on Gunite’s new contract proposal. Gunite and the local union have been negotiating a new collective-bargaining agreement since October 10, the company explained, and the former labor contract expired November 17. About 150 workers are affected. Gunite stated the lockout will continue until the employees ratify a new agreement. The company indicated it would continue to negotiate with the union through the lockout. Gunite is an operating unit of Accuride, a manufacturer of commercial vehicle wheels, wheel-end components and assemblies, truck body and chassis parts, seating assemblies, and other commercial vehicle parts. In addition to Gunite, Accuride’s brands include Accuride, Imperial, Bostrom, Fabco, and Brillion. “This is a regrettable situation,” stated Rockford Foundry director of operations Bruce Figi, “one that we went to great lengths to prevent. The company and the union’s committee spent hours and hours at the bargaining table discussing the parties’ proposals.” Figi called Gunite’s contract proposal “good and comprehensive,” but added that the union was unwilling to discuss the offer, nor to allow the union membership to vote on it. He said the lockout would ensure the safety of workers who continue to operate the foundry and will ensure there are no disruptions to customers’ orders. “Gunite has worked long and hard to craft an agreement that meets the needs of the company and our employees,” Figi stated. “It is unfortunate that our efforts have not yet resulted in ratification, but we are committed to reaching an agreement that protects the long-term economic health of the company, while fairly compensating our employees for their hard work and ongoing effort to create value for the company and our stakeholders.”