Rather than Pay for Insurance, FreightCar America Sues 700 Retired Steelworkers

      Rather than Pay for Insurance, FreightCar America Sues 700 Retired

PR Newswire

PITTSBURGH, July 9, 2013

PITTSBURGH, July 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The United Steelworkers
(USW) today denounced FreightCar America Inc. management's unilateral decision
to abrogate benefits agreements that provide life and medical insurance for
about 700 workers who retired from the company's Johnstown, Pa. production

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The USW called the company's scheme to shed its obligation to these union
retirees a mean-spirited and greed-fueled money grab aimed at men and women
who dedicated their lives and careers to building railcars and earning profits
for FreightCar and its predecessors.

Over decades of service at the Johnstown "car shop," as it was known, retirees
earned the right to receive company-paid health and life insurance benefits.

These rights were created through collective bargaining between the successive
employers and the USW, where the parties agreed that the employer's obligation
was to provide these benefits as long as the retiree remained retired,
"notwithstanding the expiration of this agreement, except as the company and
union may agree otherwise."

The USW never "agreed otherwise." It never agreed to convert these important
retirement provisions into benefits that were "gratuitous," or terminable at
the employer's whim, as the company's lawsuit claims.

In a letter today, FreightCar informed the USW of its intention to stop paying
for the retirees' health and life insurance and brought a complaint against
the union and retirees in federal court for the Northern District of Illinois
seeking approval to terminate the benefit programs on October 1, 2013.

The USW and the retirees are filing a lawsuit of their own in federal court
for the Western District of Pennsylvania to fight the company's announced
termination of these benefits.

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and
paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing
industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and
service occupations.

More information, contact: Tony Montana (412) 562-2592; tmontana@usw.org

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

Website: http://www.usw.org
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