USF&G offers workers bonus to persuade them to leave

October 08, 1994|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Sun Staff Writer

USF&G Corp. has offered workers in its administrative department bonuses to leave the company, hoping to pare its payroll before restructuring the group.

The department includes 100 to 150 people who work in security, maintenance, word processing, purchasing and supplies, according to Dan L. Hale, USF&G chief financial officer.

The employees work at both the Baltimore-based insurance company's downtown headquarters on Pratt Street and its Mount Washington facility on Smith Street.

"There has been, with an outside consultant, a study looking at our purchasing practices," Mr. Hale said.

"There will be, at some point, some restructuring going on, and in anticipation of that, they put this program into effect to give people an opportunity of choice."

The offer includes four weeks of pay in addition to the normal severance of two weeks of pay for every year of service, Mr. Hale said.

Workers were told of the offer on Sept. 14.

They were given three days to pick up applications, which can be turned in within 45 days.

Between 50 and 60 workers have taken the applications, and he expects fewer to take the offer.

Exactly how large the restructured department will be and whether further layoffs will be necessary has not been determined, Mr. Hale said.

"We don't know what it's going to look like yet," he said.

USF&G's national work force has been cut in half, to about 6,600 employees, since Norman P. Blake became the company's chairman and chief executive officer in November 1990 and launched a restructuring effort to turn around the troubled company.

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