The chairperson of the UAW Local 913 that represents workers at the former Huron division of Lear Corp. said she's confident about the plant's future because she's confident in its new owner.
Union leadership at the International Automotive Components plant understands that the bottom line on a company's ledger sheet speaks volumes about job security. That is why they are comfortable knowing a competent businessman is their company's new owner.
The Lear Corporation is a leading global supplier of automotive seating, electronics and electrical distribution systems. New York-based international financier Wilbur L. Ross acquired Lear Corp.'s interior systems division officially last month, which includes the plant in Huron.
Sherry Wilson is chairperson for the union, which recently ratified a new contract that will run through June 30, 2009.
She is confident in Ross' ability to keep operations running smoothly.
"We have 548 hourly workers right now and the contract vote was 286 'yes' votes and 116 against it," Wilson said. "I think most of the concessions were reasonable. All of the Lear plants Ross purchased were asked to take concessions. He is a businessman and billionaire, and he seems to know what he is doing."
Ross has been on a buying spree lately, snatching up under-performing companies in the textile, steel and auto industries.
"Lear was losing money and they had to sell some of their divisions," Wilson said. "It wasn't a surprise that we were sold."
According to Lear's corporate communications office, the company reported net sales of $4.4 billion in the first quarter of 2007 compared with $4.7 billion in the first quarter of 2006.