OLEAN — For the 174 employees at the Dal-Tile plant on South Clark Street, life after the facility closes remains unclear.
For most of Tuesday, representatives of the plant’s union and Dal-Tile corporate met behind closed doors at the Old Library Inn on North Union Street to negotiate a severance package for those losing their jobs when the plant shuts down early next year.
On Thursday, Dal-Tile officials announced the plant’s operations would be shifted to a sister facility in Gettysburg, Pa. The plants are Dal-Tile’s only manufacturers of mosaic tile. The Olean plant, located on the city’s east side, was in its 98th year of tile production.
Dal-Tile, owned by Dallas-based Mohawk Industries, is the largest manufacturer of ceramic tile and natural stone products used in residential and commercial design and construction across North America.
Though details of the severance package are not being released, officials with the United Steelworkers Olean Local 151 G, which represents most of the workers at the local plant, said the proposal included a payout based on the number of years worked at Dal-Tile, health care benefits and vacation time buyouts, among other things. Those close to the negotiations did tell the Times Herald that Dal-Tile corporate officials gave the union recall rights should the plant open within the next five years.
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