NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES
The fight to keep the Vought Aircraft facility near Grand Prairie from closing now extends all the way to Washington D.C.
Both senators representing Texas — Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn — are so concerned about the future of the plant and the potential loss of jobs, they are taking their case all the way to the Secretary of Defense.
Over the past two days, we've been telling you about a Dallas investor's bid to buy the huge Vought aircraft manufacturing plant near Grand Prairie. The plant makes wing parts for some of the military's most strategic aircraft.
We've explained how company officials and workers are worried that the new owner will double the rent, forcing them to shut down operations and fire more than 2,000 employees.
It's an allegation that the prospective buyer denies, but it's enough of a threat that senators Cornyn and Hutchison sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta:
"We believe this sale will put at risk a substantial cohort of the 2,800 highly skilled experienced aerospace employees that support the production of these critical weapons systems."
The prospective buyer, American Brownfield, responds with the following statement, which we have elected to publish in its entirety:
"American Brownfield has advised representatives of the Navy that Triumph-Vought is trying to negotiate a new lease in the press by spreading fear among its workers with misinformation that has been transmitted to members of Congress. American Brownfield seeks to create a business environment that continues the long-standing tradition of providing high paying skilled jobs to workers in our community. In this spirit, American Brownfield will propose a continuation of the basic terms of the current Navy lease for a period sufficient to enable the parties to negotiate a new lease.
"Since the start of negotiations earlier this year, Triumph-Vought officials have indicated to American Brownfield’s executives that it has plans to cut union jobs by relocating the plant and outsourcing it to lower paid workers in Mexico among other places. "Triumph-Vought’s statements had nothing to do with lease negotiations and everything to do with making even higher profits at the expense of its workers. American Brownfield expects the Secretary of Defense response to Members of Congress will make them aware that Triumph is misleading elected representatives as well as its own workers about our purchase of the plant."