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Gallo Glass reaches agreement with union on job cuts

California-based Gallo Glass and its major union agreed to eliminate 70 jobs through a plan that includes early retirement incentives, a company official said.
The Modesto glass plant employs more th…

California-based Gallo Glass and its major union agreed to eliminate 70 jobs through a plan that includes early retirement incentives, a company official said. The Modesto glass plant employs more than 900 workers which, of them, 880 are represented by the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers Union Local 17. The plant makes wine bottles for the E.&J. Gallo Winery. It is located on Santa Cruz Avenue in the Airport Neighborhood. Improved efficiencies and high inventories created the need to reduce the work force. Bill Holmes, Gallo Glass“ vice president and general manager, said the enhanced pension and medical benefits packages will be based on years of service. If fewer than 70 people take the retirement offer, employees will be laid off based on union seniority policies, meaning most recent hires will be laid off first. About 93 union members are 55 or older and would qualify for the early retirements, a union spokesman said. “Employees eligible for retirement have four weeks to decide whether or not they will participate in the voluntary program,” Holmes said. “If more than 70 persons choose the retirement option, selection will again be made by seniority. Volunteers will offset the number of less-senior employees to be laid off.” The company“s offer includes the opportunity for the early retirees to maintain their health benefits until they are eligible for Medicare. Employees began meeting with company and union officials recently, hearing about the various options and having the opportunity to ask questions. Individual career counselling and other services are being made available through the state Employment Development Department, Holmes said.

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