without notice to the position of Sales Representative of National Accounts. In June of 1981, the plaintiff, due to harassment from his superiors at the Trailer Division, was forced to resign.
From the 1968 Budd acquisition of Gindy until the time of his retirement, the plaintiff has been a beneficiary under the various pension plans maintained by his employer. Following the 1968 acquisition, Gindy, as a subsidiary of The Budd Company, maintained for its salaried management employees, including the plaintiff, a pension plan (hereinafter the "Gindy Pension Plan") that was separate and distinct from the pension plan that The Budd Company maintained for its salaried management employees. The pension plan maintained by The Budd Company for its salaried management employees is called The Budd Company Pension Plan for Executive and Administrative Employees (hereinafter the "Corporate Pension Plan").
In 1976, when the Budd Company renamed the Gindy Manufacturing Corporation as The Budd Company Trailer Division, the Gindy Pension Plan was fully restated and renamed the Trailer Division Pension Plan for Salaried Employees (hereinafter the "Trailer Division Pension Plan"). The Trailer Division Pension Plan was also separate and distinct from the Corporate Pension Plan.
Significantly, the pension benefits available to salaried management personnel under the Corporate Pension Plan were at all times material to this litigation (1968-1981) superior to those benefits available to management personnel under the Gindy Pension Plan and to those available to management personnel under the Trailer Division Pension Plan.
Concerning this disparity in available pension benefits under the two plans, the plaintiff alleges that Budd's chairman of the board, Phil Scott, represented to him shortly after the acquisition, "that now that [top management personnel at Gindy] were part of the Budd family they would be receiving better pension benefits then [sic] they enjoyed at Gindy."
The plaintiff further alleges that Jim Howarth, the Trailer Division's General Manager, and Bill Graham, the Trailer Division's Manager of Employee Relations, on numerous occasions, represented to plaintiff that the benefits available under the Trailer Division Pension Plan would be made equal to the benefits available under Budd's Corporate Pension Plan.
Further, the plaintiff relates that during the period of his employment, The Budd Company transferred management personnel from other Budd Divisions into various upper and middle management positions - no more important than his own - at the Trailer Division. Yet, these transferees - Jim Howarth, Bill Graham, Bart Brizee, Jack McBrearty, and Ed McDermott - were permitted, plaintiff avers, by the Budd Company to remain on its corporate payroll. By virtue of remaining on The Budd Company's corporate payroll, these transferees retained their Budd corporate benefits, including the superior benefits derived from continued participation in the Corporate Pension Plan.
In this regard, plaintiff approached the Trailer Division's general manager, Jim Howarth, and demanded his entitlement to the superior pension benefits available to salaried management personnel under Budd's Corporate Pension Plan. In response, Howarth requested that J. A. Brooks, The Budd Company's Employee Manager, and R. H. Vansteenkiste, Budd's Group Vice President of Industrial Products, place plaintiff along with three other employees on the monthly payroll. Up to this time, plaintiff had been paid bi-weekly from the Trailer Division's payroll.
In response to Howarth's request, plaintiff in the latter part of March, 1976, received a letter from Henry Charlton and Bill Graham that stated:
"Dear Lou: We are pleased to indicate that effective April 1, 1976 you will be transferred to the Budd monthly payroll."