UPDATE: Arrow drivers dig out from company collapse

| 12/29/2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 – Just a week after Arrow Trucking abruptly “suspended operations,” many former Arrow employees are scrambling to recover from the initial shock and move forward.

Some drivers have already entered orientation programs with other trucking companies who have stepped up with offers to hire former Arrow drivers. Others are in the process of contacting their local workforce centers to inquire about unemployment benefits, as well as filling out wage claim forms with the Oklahoma Department of Labor for back pay the company owes them.

Some are in the process of finding a new place to live after their homes – their company trucks – were repossessed.

This news comes just a week after the Tulsa-based company shut down unexpectedly, cutting loose nearly 1,400 drivers and office personnel. Some drivers were left stranded without fuel in all parts of the country.

Numerous former employees are seeking recourse through legal channels and have signed onto a class action lawsuit against Arrow. The federal lawsuit was filed on Monday, Dec. 28, in U.S. District Court in Tulsa, and alleges that Arrow and Arrow’s Chief Executive Officer Doug Pielsticker violated the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification – WARN – Act.

This act requires employers with more than 100 workers to give their employees 60 days’ notice of a shutdown or massive layoff or pay them for 60 days of work.

Lynda Baird heads Oklahoma’s Rapid Response services. She travels around the state when companies announce massive layoffs or plant closings. She was scheduled to meet with Arrow employees who live in Oklahoma on Tuesday about their options.

Baird said Arrow gave no advance warning that this was coming down the pike.

“This company offered nothing. They sent nothing and they offered nothing,” Baird told Land Line on Monday, Dec. 28.

The Pielsticker family who owns Arrow has been relatively quiet on the sudden shutdown.  

Early Tuesday morning, Tulsa attorney James M. Sturdivant was quoted in Tulsa World as saying, “It’s a situation that is fluid. It is a very unfortunate and awful situation, and we’re trying to figure out what to do.” Sturdivant was speaking on behalf of his client, Carol Pielsticker, the company’s chairwoman.

On Tuesday, Dec. 29, Land Line contacted Sturdivant, but he declined further comment.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer