New Process Gear to close after workers reject contract

A day after union voters rejected a new contract with New Process Gear, owner Magna Powertrain says the plant will indeed close, putting 1,400 people out of work. The last time the contract was voted down, Magna said it would begin winding down operations at the plant. Now the company says there won't be a third offer. The closure is a sure thing, it's just a matter of when.

The voting was close - 580 said "no" while 530 said "yes" to a new agreement. "It's certainly a tough day here at Magna Powertrain," said Magna Spokesperson Tony D'Angelo. "We are disappointed in the ratification vote's outcome. We have been meeting with employees during the course of the day and we are initiating the closure."

This is the third time in a year that union workers were asked to vote on a contract with NPG. The first vote approved a new contract that included wage cuts, and in February, 76% rejected a contract that would have meant even more pay cuts if the plant didn't break even in July.

D'Angelo says it's too early to predict just when the final closure will come. Magna is still in the planning stages, so until that day, whether it be a month or a year from now, New Process Gear will continue operating. "The future is uncertain and we recognize fully that is difficult to deal with," D'Angelo said. "But we do have a job to do and it's important to us to do it to the best of our ability to fulfill customer requirements so we can try to maximize any opportunities we have."