Case-New Holland to layoff 100 employees

Case-New Holland will lay off 100 employees in the next month at its tractor plant at Mount Pleasant, the company said Thursday.

CNH issued a written statement that said in part, "In April and May of 2011, CNH added a second shift and increased its hiring by a total of more than 350 employees to accommodate its production timetable." That brought employment to about 850.

But now, the company said, it can meet demand for its Case IH brand tractors with 100 fewer people.

"Layoffs are slated for the next month and employees will be eligible for supplemental unemployment and recall opportunities," CNH stated. Employees were notified Feb. 10.

The plant at 7000 Durand Ave. will still be at historically high production levels, and its second shift will continue to run, CNH said.

In response, Jeff Vassh, president of United Auto Workers Local 180 at the plant said, "It always hurts us to see our members being laid off ... we're affecting not just the members but it's their families, too."

Vassh acknowledged the plant still had a net employment gain of about 250 people since last spring.
By the collective bargaining contract between CNH and the union, Vassh said, "(The affected workers) will go out without any supplemental pay benefits - basically with just their unemployment compensation."

Vassh continued, "But we also realize that at the time a lot of these people were being hired, we had difficulties with new products. We did overhire, and we realized there was a possibility of (layoffs)."

He added, "But at the same time, we gave some people an opportunity to come to work for six or seven months and re-establish (an unemployment) benefit year. There was a short-term positive to this."

Source: Journal Times