Monaco Coach Corp. is arguing that it did not need to give hundreds of laid-off workers the required 60 days notice of plant closings in northern Indiana because it would have undermined its efforts to obtain financing or sell itself.
The Associated Press reported that Monaco, based in Coburg, Ore., announced last week that it had given termination notices to most of its remaining workers and that it may need to shut down permanently. Most of the recreational vehicle maker’s affected employees have been on furlough since mid-December.
Under the 1989 Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, companies are required to provide 60 days notice before making mass layoffs or plant closings.
Monaco said additional “unforeseen business circumstances precluded” its ability to give 60 days notice to workers. Among the reasons cited were the economy, record gasoline prices last year, the credit crunch, the declining stock market and rising unemployment.
Monaco said in a notice filed March 3 with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, that 515 employees would be permanently discharged and more employees had received notice with termination dates. The notice affects nearly 400 workers at its R-Vision Inc. subsidiary in Warsaw, along it Bison and Roadmaster specialty trailer operations in Milford and Wakarusa, respectively.
“If a sale does not occur, or the requisite financing is not obtained, all of Monaco’s operations will be permanently shut down,” said the notice, signed by company Vice President Rich Kangail. “Consequently, all of Monaco’s approximately 2,200 employees would be terminated in several phases with no opportunity to bump into other positions.”
Monaco announced last July it was closing the majority of its Elkhart facilities, idling 1,400 workers. On March 5, it filed for bankruptcy, saying it owes between $100 million and $500 million and has assets in the same range.