NEW YORK — The ILGWU said Tuesday that an independent arbitrator has ordered The Leslie Fay Cos. to pay approximately $50,000 to 70 employees in back pay and benefits for violating a labor contract agreement.

In the ruling, arbitrator John E. Sands of Montclair, N.J., said Leslie Fay is obligated to pay wages and benefits to some 70 workers who were laid off temporarily at the company’s Julie II production plant in Tuscarora, Pa., during late October and early November last year, ostensibly because of a shortage of work. Sands found that the lack of work at Julie II resulted solely from the company’s decision to cut off production at the plant as of Oct. 22 when it intended to close the facility. The firm was forced to keep the facility open, after Sands ruled on Oct. 26 that it had broken a July 15 agreement with the union to maintain more than 1,000 existing jobs at Leslie Fay facilities in the region, including Julie II, through May 1995 in exchange for union concessions.

Leslie Fay officials declined to comment on this latest ruling.

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