Anchor Glass hit with class-action lawsuit

The Florida company that suddenly shut down its South Connellsville glass plant last November now faces a class-action lawsuit that claims the company violated a federal law when it didn't give approximately 320 workers a 60-day notice.

Anchor Glass Container Corp., of Tampa, was the target of the lawsuit filed Feb. 11 in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh by two former employees, Deborah A. Shipley, of South Connellsville, and Steven D. Petrone, of Connellsville.

The lawsuit seeks damages amounting to 60 days' pay and fringe benefits for all workers affected by the failure of Anchor Glass to give a two-month advance warning that the Baldridge Street plant would close on Nov. 4.

The suit, filed by the Uniontown law firm of Kunkel & Fink, asks that the back pay extend to all former Anchor workers who did not receive 60 days' notice of the plant closing. The suit states that any severance pay that Anchor paid the laid-off workers does not reduce its liability to give the employees their 60 days of pay.

The lawsuit claims that Anchor Glass had to abide by the provisions of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which prohibits certain employers from closing a plant or ordering a mass layoff without first providing affected workers a 60-day notice.

Company officials informed the union presidents on Nov. 4 that the bottle-making plant was closing permanently, effective immediately. Both Petrone and Shipley were members of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union.

Anchor Glass said the plant was closing for economic reasons and was losing business to producers of plastic and aluminum containers.

600450 Anchor Glass hit with class-action lawsuit
Date: 18 February 2005

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