Don't petition the White House, Use Change.org

Don’t petition the White House, Use Change.org

Nov 18, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments
Secessionists. I first want to say thank you for finally learning something from history. The last time so many desired to rid themselves of a tyrannical president they declared war on the Union. Thus, your use of a peaceful means through petitions on the White House’s site is commendable. Furthermore, each state now finds themselves represented by a petition and signatures from people possibly...
The Country Moved to the Left Last Night

The Country Moved to the Left Last Night

The whole campaign season did not just depend upon the presidential race that finally came to an end last night. Yes, the country voted clearly to give Barack Obama another four years in the White House. He received more than 50 percent of the vote and won handily in the electoral college. Yet, it is what happened down the ballot that shows the nation’s...
Republicans, Rape, Life, and Control of Women

Republicans, Rape, Life, and Control of Women

Oct 24, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments
During last night’s Indiana Senate debate the Republican candidate, Richard Mourdock, did more than stick his foot in his mouth. I believe life begins at conception. The only exception I have for to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from...

Bakery Closes Before Christmas, Leaves Workers with Bounced Checks

Jan 11, 2012 Aaron Krager 5 Comments
Bakery Closes Before Christmas, Leaves Workers with Bounced Checks

A mere two weeks prior to Christmas, the 136 workers at Rolf’s Patisserie in Lincolnwood, IL learned they no longer had a job. Without warning the factory president and owner, Lloyd Culbertson wrote on the company’s website a three-sentence announcement of the bakery’s closing.

Workers were told the plant would be closed on the 10th and 11th for a cleaning and would re-open the 12th. Culbertson, a former investment banker, asked for assistance from an employee to log him onto the website. The employee checked the site just 30 minutes later to see the devastating news.

“It was devastating,” says Deyanira Alvarez, who worked as a customer service representative for Rolf’s for four years. Alvarez and her co-workers were left with the following statement from the company:

December 10, 2011 – With deep regret Rolf’s Patisserie, Inc. announces the closing of its business in Lincolnwood, IL, effective immediately. Due to sharply higher operating costs, the cost of financing an expansion project and the inability to operationally meet the seasonal demands of our customers, we have made this difficult decision. We thank you for your patronage and we apologize for any inconvenience.

The incident, reminiscent of the Republic Windows closing in 2008, left workers scrambling prior to the holidays. They received their final paychecks later that week only to have them bounce, resulting in fees at their banks.

“After losing my job, my last check bouncing, our Christmas ruined–I’m still in total shock,” said Alvarez. “We didn’t have a Christmas dinner, we didn’t have any Christmas presents–nothing.”

By law employers are required to notify workers of an impending closure 60 days in advance or provide 60 days severance pay. The only other communication from Rolf’s seems to be a letter dated January 4, 2012, notifying them the plant closed on December 11, a full 25 days after the closing.

“We filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District court seeking 60 days statutory penalty for failure to give the workers any warning, whatsoever, that the plant was closing,” said Thomas Geoghegan, the lawyer for the employees of Rolf’s. “That what’s provided by federal law through the WARN Act. [Also] the full amount of their bounced paychecks and the vacation pay that accrued to them at the time of the closing.”

Geoghegan, said his firm has tried these types of cases before and can sometimes take quite a while to finish. The WARN Act applies to companies with more than 100 employees, as is the case with Rolf’s.

WARN offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs. This notice must be provided to either affected workers or their representatives (e.g., a labor union); to the State dislocated worker unit; and to the appropriate unit of local government.

In the meantime the workers from Rolf’s, who range from minimum wage earners to salaried employees, must make do in the slowly recovering economy. The bank and currency exchange fees will push some into choosing what priorities they must sacrifice to pay them off.

“Now that I have no job, how can I even afford to pay those fees?” asked Karen Leyva, a six-year office assistant at the factory.

The full reasoning of the closing is currently unknown but Geoghegan said during the press conference that First American Bank could be providing pressure on outstanding debts. Phone calls to Lloyd Culbertson’s home and business were not returned.

“We all know this is a bad economy. But the workers and their families are the ones who suffer,” says Adam Kader, director of Arise Chicago’s Workers Center. “It’s a microcosm of working families’ pain under the recession. Workers who gave their lives to this company have been shoved into the street with only a check marked ‘insufficient funds’ in their pockets.”

  • E_A_Blair

    In the meantime the worker’s from Rolf’s, who range from minimum wage
    earners to salaried employees, must make due in the slowly recovering
    economy.

    Gee, those worker’s are sure in for hard time’s, and so are their familie’s.  Maybe they could go to work for a factory supplying Aaron Krager with unnecessary apostrophe’s.  That would give them something in their wallets when all those bills come do.

    And maybe one of them could find work as a teacher giving Mr. Krager lessons in remedial spelling and punctuation.

  • Lincoln

    Watch out, the big bad grammar cop is here, your garbage is so relevant to the topic at hand. Somewhere a bridge is missing its troll.

  • M_L_Davis

    Maybe they are related to green grocer’s – they are supposed to abuse punctuation. (Terry Pratchett reference, I think it is from “Going Postal”)
    Oh, and it should be “must make do”

  • E_A_Blair

    “Oh, and it should be ‘must make do’”.

    Which is why i put in a dig by writing “That would give them something in their wallets when all those bills come do” in my first reply.

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