According to multiple reports, a Mississippi-based furniture company abruptly laid off nearly 2,7000 employees in the US just days before Thanksgiving.
Just before midnight on November 21, thousands of workers – many of whom were asleep – received a text message from United Furniture Industries (UFI) saying they were effectively terminated and could no longer go to work. Return is not allowed.
“At the direction of the Board of Directors… we regret to inform you that due to unforeseen business circumstances, the company has been forced to take the difficult decision of terminating the employment of all its employees with immediate effect,” the message read. Joe New York Post reviewedTold.
“The company expects your layoff to be permanent and all benefits will be terminated immediately without the provision of COBRA,” a follow-up email from the company read, referring to a federal law that gives employees the option of losing their jobs. Provides health insurance sponsored by their employer under certain circumstances.
The company instructed its drivers to “return equipment, inventory and delivery documents” immediately, regardless of “whether or not [they] completed [their] Distribution”.
No explanation was given to the employees as to why they were abruptly terminated. On Tuesday, UFI sent an update about the recovery of their luggage, which FreightWaves reviewed,
The email states, “As soon as the property manager can provide a safe and orderly process for former employees to come and collect their belongings, they will do so…we are not sure of a time frame for this, But will actively communicate.”
In response, several employees expressed shock and dismay at his sudden firing.
One employee told FreightWaves: “It’s not fair to the workers who worked so hard to be blindsided like this. It’s not fair to a mother who just had a baby and she thinks whether he even has health insurance to cover it. It’s not fair to a cancer patient in the middle of chemo to figure out how to pay for his treatment.
Another employee, TJ Martin, Told WLBT: “This has been a huge blow to each and every one of us … It puts a damper on everyone’s spirits, especially when you are asked to be ready to hit hard on Monday. In our Each one of us is dedicated to the company. We consider each other family members.”
Former employee Toria Neal on Wednesday filed A lawsuit against the company, alleging that it violated the federal Employee Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act by not giving at least 60 days’ notice of its shutdown.