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Lear considers closing plant, relocating work



Published: Sat, October 21, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The United Auto Workers union is fighting a plant shutdown.

LORDSTOWN -- Lear Corp. is considering closing its car parts plant in Lordstown and sending the work to other suppliers, a union official said.

The plant employs 105, and the closing could come as early as Dec. 22 because the Michigan-based company would have to file a 60-day plant closing notice, said Jim Graham, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112.

The local Lear workers are affiliated with Local 1112, which represents workers at the General Motors' Lordstown complex.

The UAW is trying to stop the closing because Lear signed an agreement in 2004 to keep the plant open through 2008, Graham said.

Lear used to supply seats to the Lordstown car plant for the Chevrolet Cavalier and Pontiac Sunfire until those models were replaced by the Chevrolet Cobalt. Intier Automotive Seating won the seating contract for the new model.

An agreement between the UAW and the companies provided that Intier would take at least 175 Lear workers at its plant and Lear would keep 105 workers making other interior parts, such as door pads and headliners.

Graham said Intier has lived up to its part of the agreement but Lear wants to give its work to other suppliers. Union officials consider that a violation of the agreement, he said.

The UAW, Lear and GM were meeting on the issue Friday in Detroit, he said.

A Lear spokeswoman could not be reached.




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