Thursday, April 09, 2009



by Greg Gerber of RVENEWS

JUNCTION CITY — For 460 Country Coach workers who have been out of work since mid-November, it’s official: Their jobs are gone.

The company late Wednesday notified employees who have been on furlough since the RV factory was idled four months ago that their jobs were being terminated. The company also notified the state Department of Community Colleges & Workforce Development.

“We needed to make sure people were duly notified of termination,” company spokesman Matt Howard said. “We certainly owe it to all our employees involved to let them know where they stand.”

Country Coach is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and attempting to reorganize itself as a much smaller company. Last week, it began calling back employees to work on coaches that were partially completed.

Under its new business plan, Country Coach plans to complete about one coach per week. It has about 40 coaches in the pipeline. It expects to have about 100 workers on the job by next week. At its peak in 2006, the company had about 1,800 employees.

The average tenure of workers who were called back is seven years, said Howard.

Mark Anderson, who worked at Country Coach for more than nine years, most recently repairing tools in the factory, said he already knew where he stood when he was not among the workers called back. The termination letter, he said Wednesday, came as no surprise. However, he said the letter contained one piece of positive news for terminated employees: It says that the bankruptcy judge has authorized payment for vacation accrued in the six months before the company went into bankruptcy.

SOURCE: Register Guard

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