|TRAFICANT, James A., Jr.,|
April 30, 1998
Washington, D.C. – U. S. Rep. James A. Traficant, Jr. (D–OH) announced today that the former employees of the closed Brainard Rivet plant have finalized a deal to purchase the assets of the Girard, Ohio facility, and reopen the plant as an employee-owned company. Brainard Rivet's parent company, Textron, Inc., closed the plant last June. "For the past year, I have been working to give Brainard's employees the opportunity to purchase the plant's assets and salvage their future," said Traficant. "I'm pleased that Textron listened to my repeated entreaties and negotiated in good faith with the employees."
The agreement finalized today between Brainard's former employees and Textron was made possible through financing provided by Fastener Industries, Inc., an employee-owned company based in Berea, Ohio. Brainard Rivet will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fastener Industries. Brainard's employees will become participants of Fastener Industries' employee stock ownership plan, and will, as a result, share in the ownership of the overall corporation. Fastener Industries is a well-established manufacturer of high quality weld fasteners. The company, which employs more than 200 people, has been owned by its employees since 1980.
The new company plans to hire from the pool of former Brainard Rivet employees. The new company will be starting from scratch, without any backlog of orders. In its first year of operation the new Brainard Rivet hopes to generate more than $3 million in sales. By its third year of operation, the company expects to have more than $5 million in sales, and employ up to 30 employees.
In January of 1997, Textron's Camcar Division announced that it
would be closing the Brainard plant on June 1, 1997. In response,
Brainard's hourly employees began to explore the feasibility of an employee
buyout. The employees were assisted in this effort by Traficant and
the Ohio Employee Ownership Center. As a result of this effort,
the employees decided to actively pursue a buyout, and formed an employee
Textron initially refused to consider a buyout, and made plans to close the plant and
remove the assets. Traficant intervened on several occasions with top Textron officials to convince them to consider a buyout. Traficant's efforts paid off, and by the fall of 1997 Textron began negotiating with the employees on the sale of certain Brainard assets.
From 1950 to 1997, Brainard Rivet operated in Girard as one of the premier rivet manufacturers in the world. Prior to its closure in June of 1997, Brainard's recent annual sales averaged $15 million. The plant consistently turned a profit. In 1996, the plant posted a $2.2 million operating profit, and had more than 300 customers. A total of 65 people worked at the plant prior to the shutdown.
The plant produced solid body rivets in a wide range of sizes. Products included both standard and custom rivets, shoulder rivets, automotive door hinge pins, and clevis pins. The plant produced the rivets through a process called cold-heading. Brainard had a wide variety of heading machines that allowed the plant to produce a diverse range of products. Few rivet shops in the country have such a capability.
"I am confident that under its new ownership, Brainard Rivet can return to its position as a profitable manufacturer of quality rivets and other products," said Traficant. "It was a long and hard struggle, but in the end the employees won a huge victory. I was pleased to have been able to successfully intervene with Textron's leadership, and convince the company to negotiate with the employees." 2009