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Progress Rail closing London plant

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ELECTRO-MOTIVE CANADA PLANT CLOSURE AGREEMENT RATIFIED: Progress Rail Services Corporation (PRS) today announced that it has concluded an agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers union on terms of the orderly closure of Electro-Motive Canada's (EMC) London production operations. The agreement, which was ratified today by union members, provides a full settlement of all claims and grievances, present, past and future, that the union or any bargaining unit employee may have against the company. The severance package provided for under the agreement significantly exceeds the requirements of Ontario employment law. The law requires only one week's pay per year of service and does not provide severance for employees with less than five years tenure. Ontario law also caps severance at 26 weeks of service. In contrast, the company will provide severance payments to all bargaining unit employees equal to three weeks of regular pay per every year of service, with no cap imposed on them. Seventy-five EMC employees who would not otherwise be eligible under the law, will therefore receive severance benefits under the agreement. The company will issue severance payments and ratification bonuses within fifteen days. Individual severance amounts will range from a low of about $13,000 (3 years service) to a high of about $148,000 (30 years service). All bargaining unit employees will receive a $1,500 lump sum ratification bonus plus limited company-paid healthcare benefits. The company also will complete funding of the employees' pension trust. EMC will make a payment to the union of $350,000 to fund settlement of all grievances, establish an adjustment program and cover representation costs for bargaining unit employees. EMC's focus is now on the orderly closure of the London production operations. We expect the union to abide by a closure agreement that supports a safe and orderly wind-down of the facility. While it is regrettable not being able to reach an agreement with the union that would have sustained the London plant, EMC is pleased that the parties were able to successfully negotiate a generous severance agreement for represented employees. We wish them all the best for the future. (Progress Rail - posted 2/23)



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