Windsor Plastic Products Ltd. went into receivership Dec. 23 after a last-ditch effort to save the company failed. Workers and local management of the Windsor, Ontario, automotive parts molder were unable to agree on terms to keep the operation running after it sold equipment and two major parts contracts to the Arrow Plastics division of LDM Technologies Inc. of Troy, Mich., according to a union spokesman.
``[Management] indicated to us that cost factors were a problem,'' Ken Maheux, president of Local 195 of the Ca-nadian Auto Workers union, said in a telephone interview from Windsor. ``We knew they were in trouble for some time.''
Maheux said the union is trying to get severance pay, benefits and other financial help from Windsor Plastic's owner, Kenmar Corp. of Southfield, Mich.
Workers were told they no longer had jobs when they arrived Dec. 24 for a half-day shift.
Kenmar officials did not return phone calls and former Windsor Plastic managers could not be reached for comment. Security guards at the plant said it was closed.
John Prepolec, Arrow's vice president of marketing, said his firm bought some of Windsor Plastic's machinery and was awarded Ford Motor Co. contracts for interior trim panels and related parts formerly molded by the defunct firm.
Arrow moved the equipment to its plants in Leamington, Ontario; Circleville, Ohio; and Franklin, Tenn. Leamington will mold parts for Thunderbird and Cougar cars. The other plants will mold for Ford's F-Series trucks.
Prepolec would not disclose terms of the deal with Windsor Plastic or specifics of the machinery purchase.
Ventra Group Inc.'s Chatham Plastics Division in Chatham, Ontario, was awarded tail lens molding and painting work for Ford's Mustang, said Rick Legate, Ventra chief operating officer. Ventra did not buy Windsor Plastic equipment.
``We were doing about half of the tail lens work for Mustang, and Windsor Plastic was doing the rest,'' Legate said.
Ford is the largest customer of Cambridge, Ontario-based Ventra, Legate said. He said Chatham Plastics ships the lenses to a Ford factory in Sandusky, Ohio, for assembly.
Maheux said Emrick Plastics in Windsor also got former Windsor Plastic work. Emrick general manager Keith Henry refused to comment, saying, ``It is a sensitive issue.''
Most of Windsor Plastic's equipment was sold before it went into receivership, according to David Edwards, account manager for receiver Coopers & Lybrand in Windsor.
Arrow Plastics, auto parts producer Siegel-Robert Inc. of St. Louis, and Pegasus Express Inc. of Windsor bought most of the machinery, Edwards said.
Coopers & Lybrand plans to sell three buildings and real estate owned by Windsor Plastic. The firm leased two other buildings in Windsor.
Maheux said Windsor Plastic employed 390 hourly and 62 salaried employees. Local 195 represents 67 other plants in the Windsor area.
CAW officials confirmed in November that Windsor Plastic agreed to sell its automotive instrument panel business to Arrow Plastics.
Officials hoped to continue the lens molding business or sell it, but they would not comment on reports that Windsor was losing money.