DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa workers suddenly found themselves out of a job and their last paycheck, after a Minnesota-based truck company abruptly closed its Des Moines terminal on Thursday.
It was supposed to be payday for Frank Lake, an LME Incorporated truck driver. “Found out that they did not get a paycheck,” Lake said.
After LME abruptly shut down, Lake is left scrambling to make ends meet.
“We are just going to have to watch what we are doing, until I find a new job and get everything sorted out,” Lake said. “The manager comes in and says that LME is shut down permanently and we do not have a job.”
Lake says he did not receive prior notice from the company.
“Generally, there is some notification requirement,” attorney Alison Kanne said.
Lake’s attorney says he is among nearly 3,000 other employees throughout the Midwest.
“It’s heartbreaking to find that you go into work as all these guys,” Lake said.
Lake says on top of receiving no prior notice, he hasn’t been paid for three weeks of work. His attorneys say that is grounds for a possible class action lawsuit.
“If we can’t reach a resolution that involves getting these employees the wages that they’ve earned, then we will pursue litigation,” Kanne said.
LME issued a statement addressing the situation:
“We apologize for the inconvenience of the situation but effective July 12, 2019 LME Inc. will no longer be making pickups or deliveries of freight due to unforeseen circumstances and have ceased operations. Our plan is to utilize an alternate carrier to assist in getting all freight delivered and some staff are remaining to help with that. Freight handled by the alternative carrier will be billed by the alternative carrier but with your LME rates applied to the invoice. There will be some delays in the transits of these moves and they may be significantly delayed in some remote locations.”
Channel 13 spoke to a manager who works in Minnesota at the headquarters. He says he wasn’t paid either and wasn’t able to answer why the company closed or why the paychecks are delayed.
This shutdown comes a month after LME started paying out a $1.25 million settlement to Minnesota union workers after they were laid off abruptly in November 2016.