Publication: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore, MD, United States
GE And Japanese Company
Combine Insulator Work
General Electric Company announced completion today of an agreement with NGK Insulators, Ltd., a Japanese concern, of a joint venture to continue operation of the Locke Insulator plant which it has run here for many years.
The new company, to be known at Locke Insulators, Inc. will retain the present 600 employes, according to Gordon R. MacDonald, plant manager, who will be chief operating officer when the transition takes place early in March.
Negotiations have been under way for many months.
The Japanese firm has technological methods and operations not now available to the local company. Without the joint venture, Mr. MacDonald said, part of the Locke operations might have been shut down, reducing employment by 40 per cent. Two basic lines of insulator products are made here – line insulators for electrical transmission power lines; and apparatus insulators used on heavy electrical equipment.
Now, he said, further expansion can be expected in the business.
The local of the United Electrical, Radio & Machines Workers of America has ratified the agreement under which it is working, it was said, the labor contract having two more years to run. Pay levels will be maintained and pension and insurance benefits will continue the same under the new company.
General Electric will be a major customer of the insulator plant as it has in the past. The bulk of the products is sold to outside utilities. Mr. MacDonald said the market has been strong for the plant’s products.