Workers at Fourth Fort Wayne Foundry Plant Reject Motion

March 2, 2004
Contract renegotiations will go forth

Members of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics, & Allied Workers union at tooling plant operated by Fort Wayne Foundry Corp. have rejected again the company's proposal to renegotiate its labor agreement. Workers at three other Fort Wayne Foundry plants, some represented by the same union and some represented by the United Autoworkers union, have agreed to the negotiation.

The vote at the Columbia City was 128-49 against the company proposal.

Fort Wayne Foundry manufactures engine manifolds for General Motors Corp. at three plants in Fort Wayne and the fourth in Columbia City, IN. In January it asked the workers to agree to cut wages by 10% and to contribute about $100/month per worker to health-insurance premiums. The workers now pay no premiums.

Employees at two of the plants initially agreed to the proposal, while those at a third plant initially rejected it but agreed after the company promised to restore the wage rate at some future date. Fort Wayne Foundry is trying to implement a new business plan it says will restore its profitability and ensure job security. It has been reported that the company is in line for a multimillion-dollar contract from GM for aluminum engine components, an assignment that would begin next spring and might increase Fort Wayne’s annual sales by 40%.

A union official with the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers told a local news source that the rejection of the proposal by the Columbia City workers would complicate – but not end – negotiations on the company’s proposal.