Intermet Corporation has announced it will be meeting with union leaders at its Decatur, IL, foundry to discuss the company’s plan to close that operation. The producer of automotive castings said the shutdown would be completed by the end of this year.

Intermet Decatur Foundry has 320 employees, of whom many are hourly workers represented by the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical & Energy Workers International Union. The plant produces ductile iron castings for automakers and Tier 1 suppliers.

Troy, MI-based Intermet manufactures automotive powertrain, chassis/suspension, and structural components. The company filed for bankruptcy in September 2004, citing rising raw materials costs. It is now in the process of court-administered reorganization.

Gary F. Ruff, chairman and CEO, said, "While the Decatur Foundry has been important for our ductile-iron business in the past, exposure to legacy and other fixed costs at this location, coupled with Intermet's capacity-optimization strategy relative to its plan of reorganization, requires us to consider this action. We believe that closure of the Decatur facility would allow Intermet to become more competitive as we emerge from Chapter 11, while preserving flexibility in our Ferrous Metals Group to ensure that future market demand can be met. If the foundry is closed, it is our intention to transfer its business to other Intermet ductile-iron foundries in Columbus, Ga., Hibbing, MN., Lynchburg, VA., and Radford, VA."