Owner plans closing of Tipton auto parts plant


The owner of a central Indiana auto parts plant plans to shut it down in a couple months, ending the jobs of about 170 workers.

Steel Parts Manufacturing has notified state officials that it expects to close the Tipton factory by mid-March, although the company says it is negotiating with the United Steelworkers union.

Steelworkers local president Scott Sigler tells the Kokomo Tribune that the union's current contract doesn't expire until 2014 and the company is seeking pay and benefit cuts.

New York private equity fund Monomoy Capital Partners bought Steel Parts in 2011. Union members reached agreements with the previous owners in 2006 and 2009 to prevent threatened factory closures.

Sigler says the Tipton factory has plenty of work making clutch plates for Ford and General Motors.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)