Acme Metal Fabricating, Inc., a unionized business, has been losing business to a South American company duplicating Acme’s products and their quality, but at a lower cost. The chief executive officer (CEO) and the chief financial officer (CFO) have been alluding to this during town hall meetings with employees over the last year. On January 2nd, following a week's holiday shut-down, the CEO sends e-mails and print notices to the production division employees indicating they will be laid off effective February 15th. The machine tooling division, a sales force, and the administrative staff will be retained in anticipation of a continued need for their services. Acme enjoys a great reputation in machine tooling, and an extensive product inventory should keep the company with reduced staff in existence as the senior management regroups.
Draw on your knowledge of the WARN Act, and evaluate the above scenario. In your opinion, what are the issues related to union, time frame of the layoffs, and potential antidiscrimination? What is the eligibility for unemployment insurance and training or retraining for the employees to be laid off? As the HR professional, what advice would you give the CEO to make this layoff an easier transition?
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