Magna International will close its Syracuse, New York, gear assembly plant after workers rejected a modified contract deal that the company said it needed to make the facility competitive.

Around 1,400 people work at the New Process Gear (NPG) plant and a UAW branch spokeswoman told Reuters that 52% of the plant’s employees rejected the contract in a two-day vote that ended last night. The vote was the second since early February in which workers rejected a package of concessions.

After the first vote, Magna said it would close the plant, which it claims loses money.

Union leaders pressed for a new agreement, however, and after a tentative deal was struck, Magna said it would stop the wind-down process if the agreement was ratified.

“This was an extraordinary attempt by the UAW and the NPG management team to craft what could have been a truly competitive agreement,” said NPG general manager Tom Rucker said in a statement cited by the news agency. “I am extremely disappointed that this agreement, which could have given NPG a real opportunity to survive, was voted down.”

The plant, which makes transfer cases for trucks and SUVs, lost US$117m in 2007, according to Reuters. Workers agreed in early 2008 to cut wages and benefits in return for a payment that would ease them into a new hourly wage rate, according to media reports in Syracuse.