AMERICAN HOME PRODUCTS CORPORATION ANNOUNCES
BENEFITS PACKAGE FOR ELKHART WORKERS
NEW YORK, May 18 /PRNewswire/ — American Home Products Corporation (NYSE: AHP) announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union (OCAW) Local 7-515 and Local 7-838, which provides a comprehensive package of assistance to the workers affected by the closure of the Whitehall Laboratories, Inc. in Elkhart, Ind. last fall. The benefits AHP will provide include substantial insurance and pension benefits for the members of both local unions, as well as new procedures to transfer workers to other company plants.
After an administrative law judge’s recommended order that the company engage in effects bargaining, a team of AHP officials traveled from New York to Elkhart to meet with the local union bargaining committee members to achieve an agreement on these benefits. “We wanted the union to make an informed decision on the benefits we were going to offer during negotiations. In order to do this we provided the union with all of the information needed and made experts available in pension and health benefits to answer any questions the union had on these matters,” stated John Reggio, vice president of administration, Whitehall Laboratories, Inc.
AHP and the union met during 12 separate bargaining sessions to exchange information and proposals concerning possible benefits for the displaced Elkhart workers. Reggio stated, “The company agrees that the loss of the Elkhart jobs has been most difficult for the affected employees as well as the community. By donating the Whitehall facility and surrounding land and by providing funds to maintain the building for possible use and sale (estimated value $7.5 million), the company endeavored to assist the Elkhart community. Now, by agreeing to these benefits, the company is extending to former employees more direct assistance.”
As part of the agreement, the company and union agreed upon a procedure to transfer Elkhart employees to other jobs at sister plants within AHP’s corporate structure. Previously, less than 25 union members had accepted offers to transfer to other company plants. Another opportunity was extended to the Elkhart employees to transfer. As a result, the number of employees opting for a chance to again work for AHP jumped to over 230.
Seventeen benefits were agreed upon, some of which include:
— Extended health insurance coverage from April 1, 1992 through Sept. 30, 1992;
— Transfer rights to openings at other AHP plants through Sept. 30, 1992, with years of service credit for determination of vacation, retirement and pension benefits;
— All workers transferring to other company plants get to keep Elkhart severance pay that has already been paid to them;
— Additional benefits for all workers not already qualified for early retirement pension benefits who have a combination of age and seniority totaling 75 years. This provision will benefit 21 additional workers, and provide lifetime medical insurance for some workers as young as 49-years old;
— Moving allowance of up to $4,500 for transferees; and
— A training, education and scholarship fund of up to $1.5 million over three years for the benefit of workers, spouses and children.
/CONTACT: John L. Skule of American Home Products, 212-878-5015, or Wayne Kramer of BenchMarketing Associates, 219-233-1566, for American Home Products/
(AHP) CO: American Home Products Corporation; Whitehall Laboratories, Inc. ST: New York, Indiana IN: MTC SU:
SM — NY080 — 1507 05/18/92 16:52 EDT EDT
Eastern Daylight Time
Rating: 4 out of 5