Union workers at the Thor America plant in Middleburg, Pa., rejected a proposal from management that would have stopped the plant’s closure on April 15, according to the Daily Item.
In a statement from parent company Thor Industries Inc., Dean Bruick, director of personnel, said: “We did out best to save jobs in the Susquehanna Valley. Most people there would want a job that would pay over $15 per hour with incentives, plus benefits. The union’s rejection gives us no other alternative but to fulfill existing orders and proceed to close the plant.”
On Tuesday (March 22), workers at the 28-year-old towable plant voted 89-4 against management’s offer.
“We’re not prepared to close that plant, but the offer they gave was not acceptable,” said C. Pete Mathieu, assistant directing business representative of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District Lodge 98 in York, Pa.
The two sides began meeting in January with the aim of preventing the plant closure.
The company proposed reducing the hourly salary of the 120 employees from $13.40 to $9, with bonus pay for meeting production quotas, while reducing seniority benefits and increasing health insurance contributions.
Workers maintained that Thor “had their minds made up” when negotiations began.
“This wasn’t a negotiation. This was ‘take it or leave it,’ ” said Doug Dean, president of the employee union’s Middleburg chapter.
Jackson Center, Ohio-based Thor Industries initiated the proceedings, claiming production was down at the plant and citing high absenteeism.
Union workers said the production problems were related to a lack of materials.