Tower Automotive Inc. said Monday that it wants to close its Greenville plant in west Michigan and said its board has authorized the company to bargain with unions at that plant, which employs 230.
Tower, of Novi, Mich., said the decision to pursue closure of the Greenville plant is due to challenging market conditions and is part of Tower Automotives restructuring efforts to become more competitive. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York City in February 2005.
Tower Automotive Inc. ranks No. 45 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide original-equipment automotive parts sales of $3.20 billion in 2004.
Tower also said Monday that it has reached a tentative agreement with the seven unions that represent workers at its Milwaukee manufacturing plant, clearing the path toward closure of that plant in March.
The tentative agreement for the Milwaukee plant resolves a range of issues, including retiree health care benefits for current and retired employees, Tower said in its statement.
The auto supplier said it has agreed to continue to pay health care coverage for employees through the end of June and will help establish a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association trust that would administer the health care benefits of retirees and their dependents.
The agreement with the Milwaukee unions is subject to ratification by union members and approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.