Fort Wayne Foundry Starting Expansion

March 23, 2004
GM contract leads to $27-million project

Fort Wayne Foundry, fresh from gaining concessions on wages and insurance-premiums from one of its employees’ unions, has initiated a $1.5-million expansion at its machining division. In addition, up to $25.5 million in new equipment will be installed at the Fort Wayne, IN, foundry in advance of a new work order from General Motors Corp.

Earlier this month, members of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics, and Allied Workers Intl. ratified contract changes that will result in a 10% cut in pay and an $8-20/month premium to the health-insurance program. Previously, the workers paid no insurance premiums. The company’s explained the changes as part of its strategy to manage cash-flow more effectively, in order to meet manufacturing costs. In exchange for the employees’ concessions, Fort Wayne Foundry guaranteed 40-hr/week employment to all current employees at the two foundries in Fort Wayne, which will remain open during the period. Also, over the period of the contract the wages will be restored to previous levels in three stages.

Fort Wayne Foundry recently earned an assignment from GM to produce cast-aluminum manifolds for a new 3.9-liter, 6-cylinder, 240-hp engine due to be installed in Chevrolet Lumina and Impala and Pontiac Bonneville, Grand Prix, and Grand Am models. The foundry also produces aluminum castings for water pumps, front covers, and cam brackets.

The 24,000-ft2+> expansion will increase the plant to a total of 108,000 ft2 by October.