Mitsubishi struggling to sell doomed plant due to union workers

Mitsubishi is about to end vehicle production in the US, but the company is having serious problems finding a buyer for its Normal, IL, factory that currently assembles the Outlander Sport. A major sticking point, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, is the plant's workforce of over 900 United Auto Workers members. The automaker has been trying to find another company to take over the site for months and has set November as the point to stop manufacturing there.

The Normal, IL, factory is unique because it's the only plant in the country that's run by a Japanese automaker with a UAW-represented workforce, after starting as a joint venture with Chrysler. That makes Ford, General Motors, and FCA the preferred buyers because they could conceivably take over the union contract. However, the Blue Oval and the General likely aren't interested. According to plant officials speaking to The Wall Street Journal, FCA and some ​unnamed car companies are potential buyers, but there's absolutely nothing final, yet. Proponents argue that buying the location is cheaper than building a new one.

Making matters harder is that the UAW and Mitsubishi are currently negotiating a new union contract, and the factory's next owner might have to take over the deal, according to the WSJ. The workers were ready to vote whether to strike recently, but that was averted when an announcement on the local's webpage said a tentative agreement was expected Sunday. Of course, the Big Three have been experiencing their own, similar issues with crafting deals, too.

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