UPDATE: Cequent workers in line for lay-off bonuses

Union workers at the Cequent Products plant in Goshen voted Friday to approve a "retention package" worth $3.7 million.

The deal will provide a lump sum payment of $36,000 to the most senior worker, and a payment of $500 to those with a year or less on the job.

"I'm satisfied," said James Young, who's worked at the plant for about 40 years. "We could have ended up in worse shape. And, I just feel lucky we got what we got."

Cequent will phase out production at its Goshen plant through a series of layoffs.

On Thursday, 87 workers were let go. The next layoff will come in April.

In order to receive a bonus, the worker will have to remain on the job until they receive a lay off notice.

"We weren't going to be able to stop them from moving to Mexico, so this did give people the opportunity to get some extra money once they're laid off," said United Steelworkers Local 9550 Vice President Deb Hathaway.

In exchange for the bonus program, the union agreed to drop a grievance claiming that the move to Mexico was a violation of the union contract.

The grievance had been scheduled to go to arbitration in April.


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