Drivers for Falcon Transport out of Youngstown, Ohio, were surprised on late Friday to be told that the company was shutting down immediately.
According to Wendi Lopez, who was hired by Falcon Transportation as a recruiter in 2011 and most recently worked as a driver training/recruiting manager, there was no indication she wouldn’t be returning to work Monday morning, like she has for the past eight years.
On Sunday, Lopez told Land Line Magazine she wanted to set the record straight as far as most recent paychecks and drivers going unpaid for three weeks.
“Drivers have been paid. We got an email from Chris Broussard (Falcon Transport CEO) that the money is there for the most recent paychecks,” she said.
She went on to say that she had no personal knowledge of stranded drivers at that time, but was working on social media to share contacts for groups like Meals for 18 Wheels, that were offering assistance in connecting ride-shares to get anyone who may be stranded home.
Pay for the most recent week due to drivers appeared to be close to resolution by late Monday morning, when direct deposits were released to some of those previously reporting no Friday paycheck on social media.
As of Monday, payroll and billing staff were still verified employees, and will continue to report to work until payroll issues are resolved. According to Lopez, next week’s payroll has been input and is expected to pay out on Friday, as scheduled.
Falcon’s Friday directive that drivers “stop all work you are doing for the company immediately” left many with questions about what to do with the freight they were under dispatch on. Fuel cards were cut off for company drivers on or around the same time the notice went out. Lopez confirmed reports of drivers being able to have their fuel card reinstated to get enough fuel to return to the closest Falcon terminal.
There are other options, especially if drivers are stuck with a load.
“Past experience tells us that any truck with a load that has not been delivered can call the receiver and negotiate fuel money to deliver the load and to get home,” said Dale Watkins, manager of OOIDA’s Business Services Department. “This was a common solution during the Arrow Trucking collapse several years ago.”
Falcon held a number of dedicated routes serving several General Motors manufacturing plants throughout the United States.
One such load in limbo is a load of Corvette gas tanks that were due at the Bowling Green, Ky., GM assembly facility on Monday, but are still sitting at a truck stop in Tennessee. GM doesn’t expect Falcon’s closure to disrupt production.
“We are aware of the situation and have redirected business to other carriers. We do not expect any disruption,” Nick Richards, GM program operations and communications manager, told Land Line.
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