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Under the federal plant closing law, a company with 100 or more employees is required to give workers 60 days notice of a plant shutdown. A more stringent state plant closing law mandates 13 weeks written notice to employees prior to a shutdown.
Employees at the Monsanto Chemical Co.'s Everett plant, however, were given 18 months notice that the facility would close.
The length of notice wasn't the only thing unusual at Monsanto; there was also the depth of services provided to the dislocated workers.
Company spokeswoman Marcia MacClary said "economics of scale" drove St. Louis, Mo.-based Monsanto to close four of its smaller manufacturing plants: two in California, one in New Jersey and the one in Everett.
"I remember it well; the announcement came on June 28, 1991," said Vinnie Palazzo, head of human resources at the Everett plant. The announcement meant that more than 100 employees, some of whom were third-generation employees at the plant, would lose their jobs by the end of 1992, Palazzo said.
At about the same time, the accounting firm Coopers & Lybrand was conducting a national survey of current severance pay policies and practices, polling 494 major organizations during March and April of 1991. That study found that senior executives were generally given more favorable treatment than …