MOUNT VERNON — TRW has announced the closing of the local plant, effective June 30.
According to TRW spokesman John Wilkerson, the plant, also known as Kelsey-Hayes, employs 79 people, including workers and management.
“Normally there is a closure agreement bargained with the local UAW,” Wilkerson said in response to a question about severance packages. “They will work out all those compensation agreements within that closure agreement.”
Wilkerson said some employees have been on layoff since the end of 2009.
“Given the situation in the North American industry over the past year and a half, since the economic downturn, I think there were maybe about 100 people on a temporary lay off,” he said. “There were some layoffs at the end of last year. Part of it is the plant itself and the business starting to phase out.”
Wilkerson added that some of the work at the plant is being phased out because the work is manufacturing parts for car models that are being discontinued. A little bit of the work will be transferred to other North American locations. He said none of the work done at the Mount Vernon plant will go to other countries such as China.
“Work being done here is all for North American models,” he said. “There is a growing market in China and a contracting market here. Predictions from the various forecasters is that we will make more vehicles here in North America this year than last. But nothing like the scale of what is being done in China, which grew 40 percent to 50 percent in 2009 versus 2008. But you can’t really say the Mount Vernon jobs themselves are going to China.”
Plans for the building itself have not yet been determined.
“The normal course of business is that the building would be put up for sale,” Wilkerson said. “It’s too early to guess on who might be interested in buying it. At this point, that is the normal tack, that the building would be put up for sale.”
Calls to Rick Morton, president of the local UAW union, about what efforts the union made to keep the jobs here were not returned.