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USA - New owner closing Brillion Iron Works; 342 workers affected

MPG bought Brillion Iron Works on September 2 for a reported $14 million

The new owner of Brillion Iron Works announced it’s closing the foundry, affecting more than 300 workers, just ten days after buying it.

Michigan-based Metaldyne Performance Group Inc. (MPG) announced it’s shutting down molding and melt operations at the foundry later this year.

It’s moving the work to five other plants — two in Wisconsin, in Browntown and Reedsburg; and one each in Minnesota, Michigan and Indiana.

Workers at the plant were told about its closing late Monday afternoon. We heard from several workers who are obviously upset, but none wanted to talk on-camera Monday night.

It’s a big shock for the community because of the big number of jobs being lost.

The company says Brillion Iron Works currently employs 293 hourly and 49 salaried workers.

MPG says they’ll be offered a chance to relocate to other foundries in the company “as opportunities exist.”

MPG president/COO Doug Grimm is quoted by the company saying, “A severe downturn in the Heavy Truck, Mining, Agriculture and Industrial Markets is forcing the foundry industry to consolidate production into fewer facilities… This was a difficult decision that impacts Brillion’s dedicated and skilled workforce. Where feasible, we hope to relocate as many employees as possible to other MPG locations.”

Action 2 News was at the city council meeting in Brillion. Mayor Gary Deiter said, “We’re going to take it one step at a time and, you know, let the chips fall where they might fall. We have other industries that we can depend on for supporting our communities, and maybe with Brillion Iron Works something else will happen over there.”

Brillion City Administrator Lori Gosz released this statement about an hour after MPG’s announcement:

The City was stunned by the news of the closing of the Brillion Iron Works. We feel for those individuals and families that will be affected by this. We will be taking time during the next weeks to assess the situation and evaluate opportunities.”

Action 2 News reporter Jason Zimmerman was at the city council meeting in Brillion. He’ll have a report tonight on Action 2 News at Ten.

The company bought Brillion Iron Works from Accuride Corporation on September 2 for a reported $14 million. MPG called it a “strategic acquisition,” saying Brillion Iron Works complemented its “existing casting business and capacity.”

Metaldyne Performance Group of Southfield, Mich., employs about 12,000 people globally, with more than 60 locations in 13 countries, according to its website.

Brillion Iron Works started as a maker of farm tools in 1897. The foundry was added three years later as the company moved out of its small machine shop. According to Accuride, it ranks as one of the top 10 independent foundries in the U.S.

In May, Accuride said its Brillion business division secured a long-term, $6.5 million contract to supply transmission flywheels to a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America after upgrades that increased line capacity 20 percent.

Source: wbay.com

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