World Book Employees Protesting Severance Pay

By Comerford, Mike | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 18, 1997 | Go to article overview

World Book Employees Protesting Severance Pay


Comerford, Mike, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Mike Comerford Daily Herald Business Writer

In the World Book Encyclopedia, there is no separate entry on severance pay.

Maybe that should have been a signal to employees in World Book's latest round of layoffs.

Former longtime employees of Chicago-based World Book Inc. have banded together to appeal their severance packages - which grant them two weeks of severance regardless of years of service.

Both Glory Almonte of Bartlett and Mary Starbeck of Arlington Heights have worked for the publishing house for 20 years. Mae Dabbs of Chicago worked there 17 years.

The three women say they deserve better treatment from a conglomerate run by billionaire Warren Buffet.

They have written a letter appealing their cases to management, but they say they are not contemplating a lawsuit.

"Instead of being appreciated for helping the company, I feel we are being punished," said Almonte, adding that she had been an accounting supervisor.

World Book officials say they are sticking to their policy.

"They were told this was the policy so if they really felt it was unfair they could have gone somewhere else," said Tim Guster, general counsel for Scott Fetzer, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. …

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