Union: Ford to close St. Paul plant Dec. 22

by Jessica Mador

Union leaders say the St. Paul Ford plant is still on track to close by the end of this year.

The newly-elected president of United Auto Workers Local 879 said he's been telling workers to prepare for a December 22 shutdown. A Ford Motor Company spokesperson declined to confirm this date, saying only that the plant is scheduled to close by the end of this year.

UAW Local 879 president Paul Shropa said the union has been preparing for the plant's closure for months.

"We certainly do not want to see our plant close," Shropa said. "We have been putting out a good product at a bare bones cost to the company and we are a lean and quite highly quality lined production plant. That is disappointing. We've got 900 families that are depending on this plant."

The St. Paul plant produces the Ranger pickup. Last year, state and local officials led a delegation to Ford's headquarters in Michigan to make a pitch to keep the plant from closing.