Union Responds to Tri-Starr Decision
JEFFERSONVILLE - The union representing employees affected by a Nevada-based company's decision to cease operations at its Jeffersonville facility is speaking out. The president of the IUE-CWA Local 84807 says the facility's incoming operator plans to fire the nearly 260 employees who work at the facility.
Tri-Starr Management Services Inc. announced Wednesday it would cease operations at the facility, which is owned by China-based Haier. Union president Jammie Willen says Illinois-based Dart Warehouse Corp. will take over operations in March.
"We have been informed by Dart that they intend to fire all employees at our facility, and we can only seek our current jobs by applying at a temp agency," Willen said in a statement to Inside INdiana Business. "We have been offered no guarantee of hiring, or maintaining our current wages or job seniority. This news is devastating to our workforce, and we intend to do all we can do to fight for our jobs."
The facility ships appliance parts for GE Appliances, a subsidiary of Haier. Willen accuses Haier and Dart of "prioritizing corporate profits over working families" and is calling on both companies to "honor the employment contract and retain the existing workforce."
Julie Wood, senior director of public relations for GE Appliances, gave the following statement to Inside INdiana Business:
"GE Appliances has four parts warehouses across the country and currently there are three different service providers managing them," said Wood. "We made the strategic decision to move from three service providers to one to simplify operations and better serve customers. Dart Logistics has been selected as the new provider and will handle the staffing at the Jeffersonville warehouse."
Dart Warehouse Corp. would not respond to the union's claims, but did provide a statement Friday evening to Inside INdiana Business:
"As a new employer in Jeffersonville, Dart intends to allow all interested and qualified individuals with the opportunity for work. Dart obtained a third party to handle hiring decisions for this facility, and provided notice directing interested individuals in hourly non-exempt roles to apply for open opportunities at the local office. Interested, qualified candidates may also register with the State of Indiana’s 'Indiana Career Connect' job matching website."
You can read Willen's full statement below:
"We are extremely shocked by the notice from Chinese company Haier and Dart Warehouse Corporation that they intend to fire over 200 workers from our Legacy/Tri-Starr facility, which ships appliance parts for General Electric. This is corporate greed in action. These are people with families, who are members of our community and are committed to their jobs. The loss of their income and health care coverage will be devastating.
Unfortunately, Haier and Dart are prioritizing corporate profits over working families. People’s lives are at stake. This is not a business decision—this is about corporate greed. The business is profitable and they are planning to continue to run it. We're calling on Haier and Dart to honor the employment contract and retain their dedicated workforce.
Legacy/Tri-Starr have been the operators of this facility for 19 years, which is owned by Haier. However, in March Haier has made the decision that the facility operations will be taken over by Dart Warehouse Corporation. We have been informed by Dart that they intend to fire all employees at our facility, and we can only seek our current jobs by applying at a temp agency. We have been offered no guarantee of hiring, or maintaining our current wages or job seniority.
This news is devastating to our workforce, and we intend to do all we can do to fight for our jobs."