At least 40 workers at Harvey Industries' die-casting plant in Aiken were idle on Monday and facing uncertain futures.
Management stopped the production of components for automobile transmissions at the facility on University Parkway because of “issues” involving the Chrysler Group, according to Plant Manager Johnny Johnson.
A meeting between Harvey Industries and Chrysler officials was scheduled for late on Monday afternoon, Johnson said. He described Chrysler as “one of our biggest customers.”
Harvey Industries President and CEO Jerome Harvey declined to comment about the situation.
“The only understanding that I have is that Chrysler needed to converse with Mr. Harvey about some high level issues that I am totally in the dark on,” Johnson said. “If nothing is worked out with Chrysler in a satisfactory manner, these employees could conceivably be laid off.”
Before the shutdown, the Aiken plant made pistons and cylinders for transmissions for Chrysler, a major car manufacturer that is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich. The local facility also produces items for other customers and employs about 225 people.
Johnson said he hoped to be able to provide the affected workers with more information about their employment status by early today. Plans were made to contact them by telephone.
Harvey Industries' corporate offices are in Livonia, Mich. The manufacturing company specializes in aluminum castings, machining, assembly and polymer injection molding. Its products include intake manifolds, cylinder heads, valve covers and oil pans.
Besides the Aiken facility, Harvey Industries has plants in several other locations in the U.S. and Mexico.
Dede Biles is a general assignment reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since January 2013. A native of Concord, N.C., she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.