USW Reaches Settlement with FreightCar America

Fund to Provide Ongoing Support for Retiree Insurance Benefits

Aug 21, 2015, 10:07 ET from United Steelworkers (USW)

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The USW today reached a settlement of retiree insurance litigation with FreightCar America Inc. over the company's unlawful termination of retiree medical and life insurance benefits.

The company had promised to provide lifetime benefits to its retirees. On the eve of trial scheduled for next week in Johnstown, Pa., the company agreed to contribute more than $31 million to a fund to provide ongoing contributions toward insurance benefits.

FreightCar had previously been forced to settle NLRB charges and federal court litigation in 2005 in connection with its bad faith bargaining and a prior elimination of retiree insurance and pension benefits.

In 2008, it was forced to settle additional ERISA litigation after a federal judge found that the company had unlawfully discriminated against nearly 200 employees by laying them off in order to deprive them of pension benefits.

FreightCar operated a former Bethlehem rail car manufacturing plant in Johnstown until 2008. The settlement will affect some 650 retirees. They will receive a formal notice describing the terms of the settlement and an opportunity to express their views.

The settlement is subject to court approval.

The USW is the largest industrial union in North America, representing workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments and agencies.

CONTACT: Joe Stuligross (412) 562-2526

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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)