UPDATE: During a news conference Wednesday, CEO Justin Norman called on workers at the Indianapolis GM stamping plant to push their union leaders for a vote.
"The employees deserve an up or down choice on our proposal," said 34-year-old Norman who runs JD Norman manufacturing.
Sunday, the union refused to vote on a contract that would include slashing salaries. GM plans to shut down the plant, which would result in more than 600 people losing their jobs. JD Norman wants to buy the plant but time is running out. GM has said the plant will close in December 2011.
"There's been a lot written and said about what we're trying to do. I'm not going to apologize for trying to keep plants that are soon to be dormant open, making product, and employing people," said Norman.
Norman said he's been receiving numerous calls from plant workers saying they would like to see a vote, but earlier this year the union voted not to negotiate with Norman. Norman said reported cuts of 50% of salaries is false. He said an average worker will make about $50,000 under the proposed contract.
"Wouldn't it be a shame. You have 2.1 million square foot facility with a significant tax base, we have a willing buyer who wants to run that plant and build it that would otherwise shut down because they(union) wants enhanced transfer options to other plants," said Norman.
He told reporters he was confident a deal could be worked out.
Justin Norman, President and CEO of JD Norman Industries will discuss the future of the GM stamping plant at a 2 p.m. news conference in downtown Indianapolis. JD Norman took out a full page ad Tuesday in the local paper asking UAW workers to reconsider a decision not to vote on a deal the National UAW brokered for an agreement for workers pay cuts.
The cuts would have been from $29 an hour to $15.50 an hour but UAW local 23 chairman Greg Clark reportedly said the union had decided not to take a vote over the weekend.
JD Norman industries based in Addison, Illinois had asked for cuts as a condition of buying the GM plant on the city's west side. GM had planned to close the plant as part of its' bankruptcy conditions. The schedule close was slated for December 2012. Indiana's Economic Development Corporation is also involved in the news conference.
This story will be updated.