Plant closings destroy the lives of workers, their families, and the communities where they live and undermine the fabric of our Nation.
What can we workers do?
First, the New Jersey Division of Unemployment & Disability will send representatives to the plant to discuss workers' rights to unemployment and job retraining.
Second, under the Federal WARN Act, (Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification) employers with more than 100 full time employees that layoff more than 49 people, must give sixty (60) days or pay for sixty (60) days notice in advance of the layoff or closing.
Third, some unions have taken the lead in stopping plant closings. In the fall of 2010, the leadership of District 15 of the Machinists Union in Massachusetts brought in an investor to buy Gloucester Engineering Company, a deeply troubled manufacturing company. The new investor brought a new management to Gloucester Engineering and invested more than $3,000,000 in new capital and now workers are being rehired.
Fourth, workers at a closing plant may file for Workers' Compensation for accidents tor which they had not filed for in the past as well as for occupational diseases such as asbestosis, asthma, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Fifth, some pension plans and Union Contracts have plant closing benefits.
Finally, it is sometimes worthwhile to pursue requests to transfer to other facilities of the parent corporation, particularly if the Union contract contains a right to transfer clause.