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Basic Agreement
Letter 8: Permanent Layoff and Closure of a Division

Item 8 - Permanent Layoff and Closure of a Division

  1. General Intent

    The overriding goal of the Company and the Union is to avoid the necessity of layoffs at the Hamilton East facility. To that end the Company and the Union have agreed to review and implement changes in work organization that will enhance the efficiency and productivity of the existing workforce and to a comprehensive program to review and reduce contracting out by the Company of work that can be performed by the bargaining unit workforce.

  2. Notice of Permanent Layoffs or Closure of a Division

    Where the Company intends to lay off permanently ten (10) or more employees or to close an existing division, the Company shall give notice of its intention as soon as practicable.

    The notice shall specify the operation or facilities involved, the nature of the work affected, the employees affected, and the reasons for the Company's decision.

  3. Adjustment Committee Structure

    A Committee shall be established and responsible for consideration of alternatives to the intended permanent layoff or division closure, planning and execution of assistance to the employees affected by the layoff or shutdown, obtaining such financial assistance as available from government programs and other sources to support the adjustment program, counselling employees affected by the layoff or shutdown, determining training programs and individual training assignments that would be eligible for funding.

    The Committee shall consist of four (4) members, two (2) from the Company and two (2) from the Union. It is understood that additional members may be added to the Committee depending on the circumstances associated with the particular shutdown or closure as mutually agreed to by the parties.

    The Company shall provide to the Committee such information as the Committee may require to complete its work including:

    1. Information as to alternatives considered by the Company's decision and the Company's reasons for rejecting such alternatives, and

    2. Information regarding the employees affected such as age, service, pension status, etc.

    The Company shall pay for the time for work performed by the Union members of the Adjustment Committee to a maximum of forty-eight (48) hours in a calendar month for each member of such Committee unless extended by mutual agreement.

  4. Rights of Employees under Notice of Layoff as a Result of Facility Shutdown or Closure

    When an employee has received notice of layoff, such employee shall be afforded time off the job for the purpose of attending job interviews subject to the needs of the particular operation up to a maximum of sixteen (16) hours per month. The Company shall pay such employee for one-half (1/2) of such time at the employee's average hourly rate in the preceding pay period.

    Division supervision shall discuss with any such employee ways to accommodate the time required by an employee to attend any training program or course during his period of notice of layoff.

    Time off in accordance with the above shall be considered credited service for pension purposes.

    Nothing herein precludes an employee from requesting a leave of absence in accordance with Clause 14.01 of the Basic Agreement.

  5. Funding of Adjustment Programs

    The Adjustment Committee shall explore the various levels of government for funding where applicable, consider and recommend possible Company contributions as may be required to attract the maximum available public funding.

  6. Early Retirement

    Where it has been determined that there is no alternative but to reduce the bargaining unit, the Company shall consider incentives for employees eligible to retire in an effort to reduce or eliminate the required layoff. Incentives may include:

    1. Enhanced basic or bridge benefits

    2. Enhanced pre-retirement vacation benefits

    3. Unreduced early retirement

    4. Unreduced early retirement at age fifty five (55) with age and service totalling seventy (70) or more and at any age with age and service totalling eighty (80) or more.

  7. Severance

    An employee who has been laid off for a period of thirty-five (35) weeks in any period of fifty-two (52) consecutive weeks and who is not entitled to recall pursuant to Clause 7.11 of the Basic Agreement shall be entitled to severance pay.

    The Company shall add to the amount payable in accordance with the applicable legislation sufficient monies to ensure that such employee receives the equivalent of two (2) normal non-overtime weeks for each year of service to a maximum of fifty-two (52) weeks.

  8. Deferred Pension

    Any employee who is permanently laid off from the Company and whose recall rights have expired or been waived and whose age and seniority total fifty-five (55) or more at the date of layoff shall be entitled to a deferred pension beginning at the earliest date that he or she would have been eligible to retire had he continued to work for the Company. Where such employee has ten (10) or more years of seniority, such deferred pension shall include any applicable bridging benefits.

  9. Recall

    The Company and the Union have agreed to an extension of recall rights to provide that employees shall have the right to recall equal to two (2) times their seniority to a maximum of six (6) years. Former employees with the right to recall would have the right to turn down recall to a temporary job.

    Recall rights shall be terminated automatically when an employee elects to receive severance pay.

  10. Preferential Hiring

    Employees laid off by the Company shall have preferential hiring rights for a period of time equal to their recall rights.

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