Tokheim Workers Win Benefits

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Tokheim Workers Win Benefits

FT. WAYNE, Ind. -- Bankrupt fuel dispenser manufacturer Tokheim Corp. was ordered by a bankruptcy court judge to reinstate most medical benefits to some 525 unionized workers and retirees.

The order, in response to an emergency motion filed last week by United Auto Workers Locals 1539 and 1101, restores all medical benefits except prescription drugs, which will be submitted to arbitration, The Ft. Wayne (Ind.) News-Sentinel reported.

"It's terrific. But the big action is the sale," UAW Rep. Richard Swanson told the newspaper. The gas station equipment producer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Nov. 21, six days after it had notified company workers of plans to eliminate health coverage.

The ruling comes as Tokheim has accepted a $42 million offer from First Reserve Corp., an investment company that would turn around and assigns rights of Tokheim to one of two other remaining major dispenser makers, Dresser Wayne. First Reserve is the largest shareholder in Dresser Wayne's parent company.

"The big focus," Swanson told the newspaper, "is on preserving jobs. Hopefully, this (company) will be sold successfully."