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U.S. Department of Labor okays TAA for Daikin Applied union employees

By Journal Staff


AUBURN — The U.S. Department of Labor has accepted the United Steelworkers Local 32’s application for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for 267 local employees at the Daikin Applied facility in Auburn.


U.S. Representative Daniel Maffei (D–DeWitt) made the announcement Tuesday in a news release.


The TAA program, which assists U.S workers who have lost their jobs due to foreign trade, will provide training, assistance, and resources to the affected local workers who will be laid off when the Daikin Applied facility in Auburn closes.



Minneapolis, Minn.–based Daikin Applied on Oct. 10 announced it will keep its Auburn plant open through 2015, representing a “one-year delay.”


The company also said at the time that 51 employees will not be laid off in 2013 as originally planned.



Daikin Applied is the largest air conditioning, heating, ventilating and refrigeration company in the world, according to its website. The company is part of Osaka, Japan–based Daikin Industries, Ltd., its site says.



Benefits under the TAA program include up to 130 weeks of full-time or part-time training and reimbursement for job seeking activities that take place outside of the local area, according to Maffei’s office.



The program also offers relocation allowances, employment and case-management services, and a wage subsidy for workers reemployed at annual wages of $50,000 or less, Maffei said.



The firm, then known as Daikin McQuay, announced on Feb. 20 plans to close the Auburn plant, which employs about 300 people total, by the end of 2014.


It also negotiated a plant-closing agreement with the United Steelworkers Local 32, which represents the Auburn production and maintenance employees, the company said in its Oct. 10 news release.



The firm’s decision to close the Auburn plant “will not be reconsidered,” but Daikin Applied believes the one-year delay is “good news” for the Auburn employees and community, saying “it effectively gives the employees an additional year of earnings and the community additional time to attract a new employer to the area through various economic-development resources.”



The firm supported the Steelworkers’ efforts to help employees get certified for TAA benefits, according to its October news release.


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