45 Workers Laid Off As Monona Manufacturing Plant Closes

Photo courtesy of Monona Chamber & Economic Development

A manufacturing plant and major employer in northeast Iowa will close next month, leaving 45 workers out of a job.

Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG), an Ohio-based international company that supplies components for the commercial vehicle market, announced in October it would shutter its Monona plant.

Its final day is Feb. 3, according to Iowa’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act site.


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The move probably wasn’t a surprise to residents or remaining workers: The company had previously tried to close the Monona plant in 2017 and move operations to Mexico.

But the community rallied, and the Monona Chamber and Economic Development celebrated in May 2017 after it convinced the company to keep the Monona plant operational.

“Thanks to CVG for retaining its major investment in Monona and for employing our strong Monona-area workforce,” the Chamber said in a statement at that time.

The plant began as Monona Wire Corporation in 1969, with seven workers manufacturing electrical wire harnesses for agricultural equipment, according to newspaper archives. It grew to eight facilities in the Midwest and Mexico, employing hundreds, before it was acquired by CVG in 2005 for $55 million.

Workers in Monona tried organizing themselves under United Auto Workers in the 1970s, but the organizing drive was unsuccessful.

By 2017, CVG noted the Iowa plant employed 146 workers, while the Monona Chamber said it was around 120.

In the years since, the company shed dozens of jobs. Only 45 employees in Monona remained by October 2022, when the company announced it would shutter the plant.

In its last financial report, CVG reported revenue of $251 million, a nearly 5% increase over the same quarter in 2021. Because of increased expenses, net income was down 52% over the same time frame.

A message to CVG seeking comment was not immediately returned Monday.


by Amie Rivers

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