Labor Lockout at Quad City Die Casting

July 29, 2007
Union resists effort to supplement workforce with part-time labor

Quad City Die Casting in Moline, IL, has locked out workers who refuse to accept a new labor agreement, according to local reports. Quad City Die Casting produces aluminum and magnesium components in a range of sizes, from several ounces up to 20 lb, on 16 machines running from 400 tons up to 1,100 tons. The operation is a division of Moline-based QuadCast Inc., which also operates Davenport White Metal in Davenport, IA, and Red Oak Casting in Red Oak, IA.

About 90 workers represented by the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America are affected. The lockout was announced in a letter from Quad City Die Casting president Drew Debrey on Thursday, July 26, following a month of operation with no labor agreement. In the letter, Quad City Casting says the lockout "is necessary to protect the interests of our company, our customers, and ultimately your job security."

Quad City Die Casting intends to hire part-time workers to supplement the union labor, to "reduce our costs so that we can meet the continuous demands of our customers to reduce our prices," according to Debrey's letter.

The company maintains the part-time workers would be employed only when 75 full-time workers are scheduled and no workers on layoff; no more than five part-time workers would be employed at any time, and the company insists that this proposal will not affect wages or job security.

Negotiations began in May on a new contract to replace the one that expired on July 1. Though a federal mediator was brought into the dispute in mid-July, no settlement was achieved after a nine-hour session.

Debrey's letter states the lockout will remain in effect until the union accepts Quad City Die Casting's "last, best, and final offer for a new labor agreement."

Reportedly, the company will operate the plant with non-union employees and temporary workers, and some work may be assigned to other Quad Cast plants.