The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 11, 2013

FreightCar warns of layoffs

DANVILLE — Local employees of FreightCar America received some unwelcome news on Saturday.

“We just got WARN Act letters,” said Bob Buford, a 17-year FreightCar employee and member of United Auto Workers 2419, Saturday.

According to Buford, the letter states the rail car assembly plant at 2313 Cannon St., “anticipates changes and when finalized, could be permanent.”

The changes are expected to take effect sometime between April 23 and April 29. Various dates are given in the WARN Act letter depending on where a worker is positioned on the production line.

“Everybody knew it was coming,” said Monty Ollis, who has worked at the facility nearly 16 years and is a UAW 2419 member. “The management got the WARN letter on Friday and told the rest of us to expect ours in the mail on Saturday.”

The letter was issued in accordance with the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires employers to provide 60 days advance notice of pending plant closures or mass layoffs. The law applies to businesses with 75 or more employees, excluding part-time employees.

FreightCar America employs about 250 people in Danville. The company and UAW 2419 agreed in October to a one-year extension of the union’s contract.

On Monday, Deanna Johnson, human resources director at the FreightCar location in Danville, said she had “no comment” when asked about the WARN Act letters and deferred questions to senior vice president of human resources Tom McCarthy at FreightCar America’s corporate headquarters in Chicago.

McCarthy said, “We’ve notified all employees of the scheduled layoff.”

McCarthy acknowledged FreightCar America has had situations in the past in which a downturn in new rail car orders slowed production and prompted short-term layoffs. But this time different factors are at play.

“The coal market is down, primarily due to the economy and competition from natural gas, and it’s impacting the (production) schedule at the Danville site.

“We’re working hard to get orders for the plant, but right now we don’t have orders past mid- to late April,” he said. “We’re actively pursuing new orders.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Diversity conference planned

    April 23, 2014

  • Library shows after-school film

    April 23, 2014

  • Westville council reaffirms departments

    Village trustees approved Mayor Mike Weese's appointments for the next fiscal year which begins May 1.

    April 23, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    April 23, 2014

  • Committee OKs chicken ordinance research

    DANVILLE - A proposed chicken ordinance for the city already has its supporters. Resident Ed Strahl said he's more concerned about dangerous dogs than chickens. "I don't see much wrong with it (chickens in residents' backyards), if contained right,"

    April 23, 2014

  • New arrest in Friday's triple shooting DANVILLE -- Police have made a second arrest as part of the investigation into a triple shooting last week. Joquin Washington, 19, of Danville, was booked at the Public Safety Building jail around 9:20 p.m. Monday on preliminary charges of aggravated

    April 23, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include: Danville Sunday: Domestic battery along East Main Street. Disorderly conduct in the 900 block of East Madison Street. Property damage in the 500 block of Highland Park Road. Monday: Retail theft at Mach 1, 510 N.

    April 23, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls: Friday, 9:23-9:36 a.m. -- A carbon monoxide check in the 1300 block of Harmon Street. Friday, 11:50 a.m.-12:08 p.m. -- An illegal burning in the 1600 block of North Gilbert Street. Friday, 12:28-12:45 p.

    April 23, 2014

  • Fire destroys mobile home DANVILLE -- A leaf fire cost a local man his home Tuesday afternoon west of Danville. A total of seven fire departments, led by Kickapoo Fire Protection District, responded to an out-of-control leaf fire at 16930 Vermilion River Lane. Kickapoo Assist

    April 23, 2014

  • shoes1.jpg Men urged to 'walk in her shoes' at fundraiser TILTON — To understand the issue of sexualized violence against women, men need to take a walk in their shoes — both figuratively and literally.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo