The United Steelworkers (USW) International representatives, on behalf of more than 350 Local 9550 members, today (Nov. 8) filed a lawsuit against Cequent Performance Products Inc. in federal court to enjoin the company from moving parts and equipment out of its Goshen, Ind., facility to a plant in Reynosa, Mexico.
The union reported in a press release that Cequent has continued to move parts and equipment out of the plant even though the parties are still bargaining over the decision to move the work out of the country. Cequent, a subsidiary of Bloomfield, Mich.-based TriMas Corp., builds hitch products under the brand names Bulldog, ROLA, Highland, The Pro’s Brand, Draw-Tite, Reese, Hidden Hitch, Fulton, Wesbar and Tekonsha.
Cequent representatives told the union on Oct. 18 it would make its decision as to whether or not it would move the production of trailer hitches to Mexico in order to secure lower wages. Amid a great deal of media attention following union-organized demonstrations outside the Cequent plant on U.S. 33 on the east side of Goshen, the parties have had two meetings. TriMas said it would reach a final decision by Nov. 19.
The USW said in the press release it has offered to continue to meet and bargain over the decision to move – an offer that was rejected by Cequent. The union has filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board for the company’s alleged failure to bargain in good faith.
“We hope that this will get Cequent’s attention and show them that the Steelworkers are serious about trying to keep the work in the United States, we are serious about protecting the rights of our members, and we are serious about Cequent playing by the same rules we are all subject to,” said USW Sub-4 Director Mike O’Brien.