29 Nov Now we have layoffs via text 🤦🏻♀️
And I thought layoffs via Zoom were ghastly. Apparently another company thought, “Oh yeah? Hold muh beer and watch this!”
“United Furniture Industries laid off all 2,700 workers while they were sleeping”
“A big US furniture company this week fired all of its 2,700 employees while they were sleeping, telling them in texts and emails not to come to work the next day, according to reports.
The mass firing on Tuesday by United Furniture Industries, which makes budget-friendly sofas and recliners for Simmons Upholstery, left thousands of employees including truck drivers and factory workers in North Carolina, Mississippi and California unemployed just two days before Thanksgiving.
‘At the instruction of the board of directors … we regret to inform you that due to unforeseen business circumstances, the company has been forced to make the difficult decision to terminate the employment of all its employees, effective immediately, on Nov. 21,’ the company said in messages to employees.
‘With the exception of over-the-road drivers that are out on delivery. Your layoff from the company is expected to be permanent and all benefits will be terminated immediately without provision of COBRA.'”
-The NY Post
What a message to get right before Thanksgiving.
“On Tuesday, workers were later told they could come to their work spaces to ‘gather their belongings,’ a UFI spokesperson told Freightwaves.com.
A laid-off worker told the publication, ‘It’s not fair to the laborers who seriously worked so hard to be blindsided like this. It’s not fair to the mom who just had a baby to wonder if she even has health insurance to cover it. It’s not fair to the cancer patient in the midst of chemo about how to pay for her treatments.'”
-The NY Post
We also learn that the company had been in business for more than 20 years. I want to point this out because longevity is NO guarantee. A longstanding company can go under in a recession just like a start-up company can.
One commenter writes:
“It’s not clear why the two-decade-old company dissolved its operations so suddenly.’ Two words; the economy. No one is buying furniture and the company is probably losing money. Combine the economy with probably bad business decisions and this is what happens. If they fired their CEO, CFO and VP of sales over the summer I’m surprised they didn’t see this coming.”
If you are a W2 employee, you owe it to yourself to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening as best as you can. Firing that many people in key leadership positions cannot be a good sign. Moreover, I would add that you should keep a finger on the pulse of the overall health of whatever industry you’re in. Is it solid? Has it historically been insulated from recessions? Is it profitable? Are other companies in the industry going under?
Do not bury your head in the sand!