Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

January 3, 2013

Steel Parts could close in Tipton

Union, company in negotiations

TIPTON — For the third time in seven years the Steel Parts Manufacturing facility in Tipton is on the verge of closing.

Company officials notified the Indiana Department of Workforce Development Dec. 27 it expects to close the Tipton facility permanently on March 14.

“Steel Parts expects the entire facility will be closed and all employees will be laid off,” Mike Smith, Human Relations Director for Steel Parts, wrote state officials.

The notice to the state indicates the company has offered to negotiate with United Steelworkers International Union Local 3875 in an effort to prevent the closing or all or part of the facility.

Union members reached an agreement with company owners in 2006 to prevent the closing of the plant and again in 2009.

Monomoy Capital Partners purchased Steel Parts in 2011 from Resilience Capital Partners. The Tipton plant is a 185,000 square foot manufacturing facility and employs approximately 200 people.

Smith did not return a telephone call Thursday seeking comment.

Scott Sigler, president of Local 3785, said the union was notified of the company’s intention to close the plant the week before Christmas.

The current contract doesn’t expire until 2014 and the company is looking to negotiate a new agreement with the union.

“We have started the process,” Sigler said of negotiations with the company. “We met tentatively and another meeting is set for Jan. 21.”

Sigler said the company presented a proposal to the union and a counter offer will be presented at the Jan. 21 meeting.

“The company wants a lot for us to keep our jobs,” he said. “There are pay and benefit cuts, stripping on union and seniority rights.”

Of the 174 people who work in manufacturing, 146 are represented by the union.

“This is well beyond what we went through in the past,” Sigler said. “They were serious pay cuts.”

Sigler said Steel Parts has a ton of work at the Tipton plant indicating Ford is the number one customer, followed by General Motors. He said the plant manufactures clutch plates.

“We knew something was going on,” Sigler said. “They recently bought a Raybestos plant in Sullivan. They are looking at moving manufacturing to Sullivan.”

Sigler said the company had summer help set to expire Labor Day and instead 12 of the 28 people were hired full time. He said the company was looking at adding more full-time employees in the first quarter of the year.

There is currently a two-tier wage system in place with new hires receiving 75 percent of the pay for the first five years.

“We’re trying to do our best,” Sigler said of the negotiations. “We met with our members and in my opinion if the company wanted a lot of money in concessions to keep the plant operating it would not happen.”

Sigler said it’s hard to be optimistic about keeping the plant open.

“It won’t be saved unless the owners want to keep a facility here,” he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Kokomo man heading to 'Hoosier Millionaire' finale Rick Rhodes is still having a hard time believing his good fortune. On Thursday, the 53-year-old Kokomo man walked away with $13,500 after beating out five other contestants on the “Hoosier Millionaire” live road show in Fort Wayne. “I’m still in sho

    April 18, 2014

  • Dual Credit classes KACC 02 Dual credits give high school students head start on college More area students are enrolling in dual credit classes as a way to get an early start on their college degrees and prepare for the rigor of higher education while still in high school. In the past five years, the number of college credits earned by

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Email, Internet knocked out at Miami Co. Courthouse PERU -- Basic government services were put on hold for the second time in nearly two months in Miami County after a massive server failure once again knocked out Internet and email access in most departments and offices. The crash hit early last week

    April 18, 2014

  • Early voting underway in Miami Co. PERU -- Miami County officials are reminding residents that early voting is now open for the primary election. Early voting started April 8 and will end May 5, one day before Election Day. Early voting is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every weekday at t

    April 18, 2014

  • Jackson Street Commons veterans home grand opening set for May 22 Jackson Street Commons, a home for veterans near downtown Kokomo, will host a grand opening May 22. The new $3.6 million facility, located at 322 E. Jackson St., provides permanent housing to 27 previously homeless veterans, said Judy Dennis, executi

    April 18, 2014

  • YMCA nearing design phase completion Development and design of the new 73,000 square foot YMCA should be completed in the next 30 days, YMCA of Kokomo Executive Director David Dubois told the Kokomo Common Council Monday. Dubois said he hopes to begin construction on the new facility by

    April 18, 2014

  • NHS, PJHS named four-star schools Northwestern High School and Peru Jr. High School have found their place among the top schools in the state, with the Indiana Department of Education recognizing them as four-star schools Tuesday. A total of 311 elementary, middle and high schools we

    April 18, 2014

  • NWS-PT041614 Flora Doc1.jpg [Duplicate] The doctor is still in after health group's departure FLORA -- The safe at a downtown bank building, once used for protecting cash and valuables, is now stocked with medical supplies. The former bank office on East Main Street became Flora Family Medicine last month after it was made possible for one lo

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Students visit courthouse Elementary students gained insight on the inner workings of county government through field trips to the Howard County Courthouse this week. Northwestern School Corp. students visited the courthouse Wednesday, and Western Intermediate School third gr

    April 18, 2014

  • Mac talent show 01 lf Maconaquah students, alumni take the stage for 50th annual variety show

    BUNKER HILL - When students from Bunker Hill and Clay Township schools suddenly found themselves walking the same halls in the new Maconaquah High School, they needed something to rally around as they formed their new school identity. That's when Pow

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.