Thor Industries Inc. is calling for pay cuts and higher insurance contributions in its proposal to machinist union members at its Thor America plant in Middleburg, Pa., according to a report in The Daily Item.
Members of the Middleburg chapter of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District Lodge No. 98 met Thursday (Feb. 17) to review proposed new contract terms.
The local paper, based in Sunbury, reported that union members said Thor’s proposals would reduce wages by more than $4 an hour and triple employee health insurance contributions.
The union’s three-year contract is not up for renewal until October 2006. Reportedly, the changes in the contract are being proposed because Jackson Center, Ohio-based Thor is unhappy with production at the plant, which produces travel trailers and fifth-wheels under the Chateau, Citation and Corsair brand names.
The plant is still manufacturing recreational vehicles and taking orders, according to management at Thor America, emphasizing that product would continue to be available to dealers even if the facility shuts down.
Earlier this month, an attorney for Thor Industries sent a letter to C. Pete Mathieu, assistant directing business representative for the union’s District Lodge No. 98 office in York, warning that Thor America could be shut down by April 15, affecting around 120 workers.
The letter, which is required by law to be sent 60 days before a plant closes, included a termination schedule.
The Middleburg union workers and their attorneys will meet with Thor Industries’ attorneys to negotiate on Feb. 28 and March 1.
Doug Dean, president of the Middleburg chapter, said the company is proposing changing wages to “an incentive situation that eventually turns into an hourly rate.”