Late last year, New Era Cap, the official manufacturer of MLB hats, announced it would close its unionized Derby, NY, manufacturing plant by March. The company says it is moving away from manufacturing to focus more on branding and marketing.
The nearly century old company will keep its headquarters in nearby Buffalo, but will move manufacturing to its plant in Miami for fulfillment of MLB hats.
Since the company announced its plans to close last November, the union has been negotiating the severance agreement for employees.
“The settlement is the best we believed we could do under the circumstances,” says Debora M. Hayes, the upstate NY area director for CWA District 1.
The negotiated package will give workers one week’s salary for each year of service up to 26 weeks of severance. In addition, the company will continue to pay their portion of employees’ health insurance for up to five months after the plant closes at the end of March. Employees will also receive any benefits previously outlined in their contract, including bonuses, unused vacation time, and paid time off.
The average length of service for an employee at the Derby plant is 19 years. Some have worked there more than 40 years.