Local 108 RWDSU Wins One for the Strauss Workers
Bankruptcy Court Judge rules $672,000 Severance Payment Plan is not to be allowed.
On Friday May 8th a United States Bankruptcy judge presiding in the District of Delaware ruled in favor of a motion brought by Local 108 attorneys to deny the validity of the severance plan which set aside $672,000 to be shared by seven key executives at Strauss Auto. The Local 108 petition was also joined by the US Attorney.
The bankruptcy judge heard the testimony of Strauss President Glenn Langberg and then his arguments on why he drew up the $672,000 severance plan for the seven executives who were his close co-workers. He heard the arguments of Mr. Langberg’s lawyer, and then heard the opposing arguments from the Local 108 attorney and the US Attorney on why it was disgraceful that a company in Chapter 11 and seeking to strip their workers of benefits, paid time off and wages should be setting aside this huge amount for the seven executives.
The bankruptcy judge issued his ruling immediately upon hearing the testimony and attorney arguments. In effect he said that he would not allow the $672,000 severance plan because it represented special treatment and payments to company “insiders.”
Local 108 members and staff picketed on the street outside the courtroom prior to the case being heard in the Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington Delaware. Speaking for the union after the court proceedings, Local 108 President Charles N Hall, Jr. said “We maintained all along that this $672,000 severance package is grossly unfair to our members. Strauss thought they could get away with extracting major concessions from our members, while they reward a few of their top executives. We will continue to do what it takes to insure that Strauss does the right thing. This is a great victory for Local 108, Strauss workers and all American workers.”