By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer
Just a week ago, one OOIDA member from Arkansas said he had heard rumors that his company, Fil-Mor Express Inc. of Cannon Falls, MN, was considering adding a few trucks to its fleet.
However, around noon on Thursday, Dec. 16, the driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he received grim news he wasn’t expecting – that the company was ceasing operations the following day.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website on Dec. 16, Fil-Mor Express had 157 trucks and 210 drivers.
The following electronic message from Richard Olson, the company's president and CEO, was sent to drivers on Thursday: “Today is a very sad day for me. I have made the difficult decision to close Fil-Mor at the end of business on Dec. 17. For the customer, please complete your scheduled runs. Your current pay was deposited and a check was sent for the next two weeks and any vacation pay. Benefits will end Dec. 17. Office staff is available to answer your questions.”
A dispatcher who answered the phone at Fil-Mor’s headquarters on Friday told Land Line that Olson wasn’t in the office.
The Fil-Mor driver said there are a lot of unknowns for him and the other drivers affected by the company’s closure. All of the drivers are owed for at least three weeks of work, plus vacation time. While the driver’s bank shows there is a deposit scheduled for Friday, as of press time the money was not there yet.
No instructions were given about what to do with their trucks, trailers or fuel cards they used. The unnamed driver said he spoke with a fellow driver whose fuel card worked on Friday. He said that driver went ahead and delivered his final load even though there’s no guarantee that he will be paid for his time.
The driver said that although Fil-Mor has equipment scattered all over the country, he and other drivers have dedicated runs and are usually home every night.
“Yesterday was the first that we had heard of anything like this happening,” the driver told Land Line. “I hope he (Olson) comes through and pays us what we are owed. His timing was terrible to do that to us a week before Christmas.”
Copyright © 2010 OOIDA