A lack of orders from automotive suppliers for parts from Ravenna Ductile Iron, 3800 Adams, resulted in the temporary layoffs at the plant that has employed 190 workers. It is just one of several industrial employers in the Muskegon area having layoffs or reduction of work hours. Those going on layoff are both production and salaried workers, according to Jeff Turner, senior vice president and general counsel for parent company Metal Technologies Inc. of Auburn, Ind.
"We hope this is not long term," Turner told The Chronicle. "These are great people. We put this off as long as we could. We feel bad about this." Ravenna Ductile Iron will go from three working shifts a day to one. Some 75 percent of the plant's iron parts production is for automakers -- the Detroit Three and foreign companies making cars in America. "Orders in the auto supply business have just fallen off the table in the past 30 to 60 days," Turner said. "We see no new orders on the horizon." The other 25 percent of the nonunion plant's parts business is for small gasoline engines built by Briggs & Stratton. Other parts are made for construction equipment and appliance companies, Turner said.