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EARLIER: Martinrea says union rejects proposal

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By Lisa King

Martinrea Heavy Stamping officials said in a statement Tuesday that union workers have rejected proposals by plant officials.

Employees had voted in early March to reopen negotiations to try to reach a more competitive collective bargaining agreement as a step to save the struggling plant.

Martinrea, which supplies the auto industry, primarily Ford sport-utility vehicles, has been struggling with the downturn of the economy.

On Tuesday Plant General Manager Shawn Adelsberger said in an e-mail that plant representatives met with the UAW Committee and its representative to continue discussing proposals.

But at 10 a.m., after reviewing the company's proposals, the UAW Committee said there would be no more discussion and that the proposals were unacceptable.

Aldelsberger said in his statement that the union said it would not be presenting the company's proposals to the its membership.

"Martinrea's proposals have addressed the challenges of an ever increasingly difficult automotive industry environment," he wrote. "Martinrea regrets that the union has chosen to walk away from the table and not present the last proposals to the employees of Martinrea Heavy Stampings."

Dwayne Gilbert, president of the local union, disputes the validity of Adelsberger's statement.

"Various parts of that statement are totally inaccurate and false," he said Tuesday. "No final decisions have been made one way or another, and there will more communication [between the parties] in the coming days."

Aldelsberger declined to elaborate further on the matter.

Martinrea once had about 1,150 employees at its facility off Taylorsville Road, but that number has been sliced to 150 during the cutbacks.