Published in Breaking News

Union: Financial concessions unlikely in negotiations with Dematic

BY Wednesday, May 03, 2017 02:27pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Negotiations between Dematic Corp. and UAW Local 1485 are progressing, but the manufacturer shouldn’t expect to win financial concessions from its workers.

That’s according to Scott Wahlfeldt, president of UAW Local 1485, which represents Dematic’s manufacturing workers in Grand Rapids.

“I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that they’re looking for concessions,” Wahlfeldt said. “I’m not looking to offer any and neither are my members looking to offer concessions financially. We will help them get their production needs out. We can help show them how they can save massive quantities of money by not throwing stuff away.”

Dematic manufactures conveyor and sortation equipment from its Grand Rapids location. The company announced in January 2016 that it planned to move manufacturing from Grand Rapids to Monterrey, Mexico in late 2017.

However, last month, Dematic executives stated the company was reconsidering the planned closure of the plant and that they were preparing to re-enter negotiations with the union.

Negotiations between the two parties remain in their preliminary stages. Dematic and workers from UAW 1485 have had one meeting thus far.

In June 2016, Dematic was acquired by Kion Group AG — a German industrial truck, material handling and logistics automation equipment manufacturer — in a deal valued at approximately $2.1 billion.

Dematic hopes to have the negotiations completed by August 2017, CEO John Baysore told MiBiz previously.

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