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UAW Local 1508

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Green Island Plant History

The Plant, approximately 225,000 square feet, has a long and interesting history in the brake lining industry. Actually, it really began back in the early 1920’s when a company known as the Asbestos Spinning and Weaving Company produced a woven and stitched brake lining in nearby Waterford, New York. One of the principals of that company, Edward Slade, left the organization in 1924 to form Slade Products Corporation with operation located in the Barker Building in Watervliet, New York. It was there that Mr. Slade invented a newer type woven brake lining that employed the use of an asbestos-paper type process. Slade Asbestos Corporation, the present division’s direct predecessor, emerged from a refinancing situation in 1928.

Following the move of the plant to Green Island, New York, in 1929, Vincent Bendix, founder of the Bendix Corporation and a large stockholder in Slade Asbestos, was instrumental in the election of Furber Marshall as the company’s president. The name of the company then became Marshall Asbestos Corporation. The Bendix Corporation acquired the company as a wholly-owned subsidiary in 1933 and then in 1939 made it the Marshall-Eclipse Division.

Early in the 1930’s, the rapidly growing automotive industry developed the four-wheel, internal expanding, self energizing brake which practically made woven type linings obsolete. It was touch-and-go for a while, but finally, after various successes with rubber-based and similar organic materials, Marshall-Eclipse engineers in 1939 developed fully molded linings, the quality and characteristics of which could be rigidly controlled through the plant’s manufacture of its own synthetic resins. This latest advance resulted in the division’s gaining its present prominent stature in the modern day brake and automotive industry.

Continuous research and development engineering has led to constantly improved passenger car brake linings, and to the addition of truck brake block manufacturing facilities. Success in producing synthetic resins for the division’s own use led to entering the resin field with several specialized resins and adhesives in 1953.

Cerametalix, a sintered combination of powdered metals and ceramics, has found wide acceptance in many fields. Originally developed as a braking system friction material for both fast and heavy military air-craft, its use has spread to include many applications that require capacities for very high temperatures and long life. Some typical applications are: heavy duty clutches in “over-the-road” trucks, earth movers, stationary hoists and brake applications in various models of present day commercial jet passenger aircraft including the Boeing 727 and 737.

In the late 1960’s, the Division was expanded to include a location in Cleveland, Tennessee. This plant was to produce linings and blocks for the replacement market.

Also introduced to the Green Island facility in 1968 was the United Auto Workers Union Local #1508. The Union had negotiated a three year contract which resulted in better wages, pension plan, cost of living allowances, holiday pay, vacations and health insurance. The UAW is still in Green Island today. The 8 Local Union facilities included in the Master Agreement at the time were Local #9 - South Bend, Indiana; Local #604 - Elmira, New York; Local #104 - Detroit, Michigan; Local #153 - Teterboro, New Jersey; Local #179 - North Hollywood, California; Local #383 - St Joseph, Michigan; Local #771 - Madison Heights, Michigan and local #1508 - Green Island, New York.

Today, Aircraft Landing Systems - South Bend, Indiana and Honeywell Friction Materials - Green Island, New York are the only two remaining Divisions in the Master Agreement.

In September, 1982 Allied Corporation, (headquartered in Morristown, NJ) bought all Bendix locations. In 1986, Allied merged with Signal and this location became, AlliedSignal, Bendix Friction Materials Division. A third manufacturing location was added in 1986 in Lynn Haven, Florida, to produce non-asbestos Disc brake parts for Ford and Chrysler.

Again a decision was made to move the Disc brake operations out of Green Island and into the Lynn Haven, FL and Elberton, GA facilities. In 1989-90, Green Island started production in the process known as Metlok which is a Disc Brake shoe preparation process that provides a superior attachment method for the various Disc Brake formulas used in the division.

In the 1993-94 time frame the division decided that the Green Island facility would phase out of the drum brake business completely as OE programs ended. This phase out was completed in 2002.

In 1999, the AlliedSignal Corporation purchased and merged with the Honeywell Corporation. The Honeywell name was retained for better world wide name and product recognition. The plant became part of what’s known as Honeywell Friction Materials.

In late 2005, in a restructuring effort, the division shut down its Lynn Haven, Florida and Cleveland, Tennessee facilities as well as its resin manufacturing operation in Green Island, New York. At that time Green Island became a temporary warehouse for disc brake and drum brake lining that the closing facilities were obligated to produce for their customers.

In 2012, plant 2, which housed the drum brake operations, was torn down. The Cerametalix operations are currently being performed in plant 4 which is located at the north end on Cohoes avenue.

39 people are currently employed locally in Green Island today. Honeywell’s Aircraft Landing Systems division is the primary customer to the Green Island facility.

There are currently 281 retirees.

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