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Closed GM plant reopened by new owners.

General Motors Corp.'s (GM) stamping plant in Hamilton-Fairfield, OH, was shut down as scheduled, but was later purchased by a new company after members of Auto Workers Local 233 agreed to cuts in wages and benefits. The company, Cynba International Inc. of Troy, MI, indicated that it would initially employ 200 at the facility, rising to about 700 in 2 months. A union official said the plant is expected to employ "far beyond that eventually." Employment was 2,500 in 1986 when GM first announced the closing; at the closing, the plant had 150 employees.

Under the new 5-year contract, hourly pay was cut $4 for skilled workers and $3 for production workers, bringing the range to $9-$12.75, compared with the $14.50 average when production of automobile hoods, trunks, tops, and quarter panels ceased in July, Workers will receive 3-percent annual wage increases in 1989 through 1992, but will no longer be eligible for possible automatic quarterly cost-of-living adjustments. Also, the pension plan was terminated, paid vacations were cut 50 percent, and work stoppages were prohibited. The accord was accepted by 88 percent of those voting.

A Local 233 official said the employees "didn't have much choice," that "700 jobs in a depressed area like this is a lot of jobs." Workers who had been laid off from the plant will be called for job interviews in seniority order.

In an incident involving another closed GM plant in the Cincinnati, OH, area, the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas dismissed all but one claim filed against GM by the city of Norwood. In the $318.3 million suit, Norwood claimed that the 1987 closing of an assembly plant violated a contractual obligation that had developed between the parties over the years. The court ruling left intact only a claim relating to providing police and fire protection at the facility.
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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Nov 1, 1988
Previous Article:Stoppage ends at New York University.
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