Former Celadon employees, drivers describe chaos after abrupt bankruptcy filing
Story by: Clarissa Hawes @http://freightwaves.com
Days after thousands of employees and truck drivers for Celadon Group Inc. received word that the carrier, one of North America’s largest, was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, many are still struggling to take in the news.
While rumors were swirling on social media that the carrier was in financial straits after FreightWaves broke the news on Dec. 6 that the company planned to file for bankruptcy, some former employees said there was little communication among company executives, employees and drivers about what to do when deactivated fuel cards left truckers stranded thousands of miles from home.
Celadon and its subsidiaries, which had more than 2,500 drivers and nearly 1,300 office employees, had been trying to recover from a financial scandal that rocked the carrier after former executives were indicted in an alleged securities and accounting fraud scheme that cost the truckload and logistics company’s shareholders more than $60 million.
A former corporate recruiter for Celadon said that just days before the company announced it would wind down business operations, he was instructed to keep hiring.
“I was told we were trying to turn things around,” recruiter Ernesto Gonzales told FreightWaves. “We were continuing to hire right up until the very end.”
Prior to Celadon’s bankruptcy announcement, Gonzales said, new employees were scheduled to start on Dec. 9, the day the carrier shut down.
He said some former employees plan to work in the company’s billing and collections departments through Dec. 13.
One of Gonzales’ former coworkers, who has been with Celadon for more than 15 years, was recently diagnosed with leukemia. A few days later, she received news that her insurance coverage was canceled after the company announced its bankruptcy.
Some families suffered a double blow on Dec. 9 because both parents worked for the carrier, according to Gonzales.
“Thousands of people didn’t get a severance package and that adds an extra sting,” he said. “The actions of a selfish few screwed over thousands.”
A financial scandal has rocked Indianapolis-based Celadon and its subsidiaries since May 2017. Celadon had to restate several years of financial results, going back to 2014, its stock tanked, and it was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in April 2018. Celadon [OTC:CGIP] stock is now traded on the OTC “pink sheets” market.
Some drivers said they had approximately 20 minutes to clean out their trucks after the bankruptcy filing was announced.
Drivers told FreightWaves they tossed microwaves, bedding and other possessions after securing Greyhound tickets because they were limited to what they could take on the bus.
Story continues HERE @ freightwaves.com
Source and credits: freightwaves.com / Clarissa Hawes / iTrucker / Mario Pawlowski
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