New Process Gear plant future in question

By an overwhelming margin, workers at the New Process Gear plant in Dewitt rejected a four year contract offer. UAW Local President Scott Stanton confirmed Tuesday night that the contract was voted down by 76% of his members. Stanton said he doesn't know what will happen next or whether the parent company Magna International will come up with a new offer.

The contract stipulated that if the plant doesn't break even by July, or if certain financial goals are not met by August, workers will have to take a pay cut, or the plant could close. The proposed contract would have forced workers to take a cut in vacation time and holiday pay.

New Process Gear employs 1,400 people. Just last year, workers went along with a contract that saw wages at NPG drop from $29.11 an hour to $20.16 an hour.

Magna International spokesperson Tracy Fuerst says she "cannot comment on the vote until we've had an opportunity to communicate the details with employees and staff members."