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breach of contract

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I work for a company that has recently sold the particullar plant I work in.
We have, in contract, and curtailment of force/layoff clause, that involves severence pay.
The company is refusing to acknowledge that clause, saying "you are not being layed off, you are being rolled over to the new company".
They also state that the new company will only except our existing contract, if we do not persue the clause......why should they care? they are not the ones who would pay the severence.
Our union won't persue the issue, and because the union doesn't represent the new company, we will have to form another local after the sale.
Do we stand a chance of forcing our present employer to abide by the contract, and pay the severence?

[This message has been edited by elkyman (edited March 29, 2000).]

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