Vermont Delegation Calls on Specialty Filaments to Explain Failure to Give Workers Notice
Washington, DC -- Vermont Delegation Calls on Specialty Filaments to Explain Failure to Give Workers Notice
WASHINGTON DC- Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Representative Peter Welch today called on Specialty Filaments to explain why the company failed to give workers notice of the plant closing as required by The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
The following letter (also attached) was sent by the Vermont delegation to Dr. James Marler, President and CEO of Specialty Filaments today:
January 25, 2007
Dr. James Marler
President and CEO
337 Martindale Road
Shelburne, VT 05482
Dear Dr. Marler:
We were saddened to learn of the recent decision by Specialty Filaments to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and close its facilities in Middlebury. We were also troubled by reports that Specialty Filaments provided very little notification of this pending decision to its 182 employees.
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers to provide written notice to affected workers or their representatives at least 60 days before a plant closing or mass layoff is expected to occur. It is our understanding that not only did Specialty Filaments fail to provide the proper notice, but the company also did not formally notify the employees about this permanent shutdown until six days after the fact in a January 11, 2007, letter to UNITE-HERE.
Therefore, we respectfully ask that you: (a) explain why Specialty Filaments decided against complying the provisions of WARN Act; (b) provide us with more information about the unforeseen nature of the circumstances that led to the closure of Specialty Filaments; and (c) explain the apparent contradiction between your description of the company's status as being "permanently closed" in your January 11, 2007, statement to employees and your claim that WARN Act notice was not required because the company's actions constituted a "suspension of operations, not a closure," as reported in the Burlington Free Press on January 9, 2007.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.
PATRICK LEAHY BERNARD SANDERS PETER WELCH
United States Senate United States Senate United States House