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‘We were lied to’: bankruptcy leaves truckers stranded as holidays near
About 4,000 US truck drivers notified on Monday Celadon was ceasing operations, leaving them jobless and without benefits
Andrea Smith has a daughter who turns eight on 20 December, five days before Christmas. Now the trucker’s birthday and Christmas plans have been thrown into disarray by the largest trucking firm bankruptcy in history.
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen or if I’ll get to be home if I’m able to find another job quickly. I’m crushed,” said Smith, a truck operator for Celadon, hours after it declared it was going out of business.
Smith is one of about 4,000 truck drivers across the US who were notified on Monday that their employer was ceasing operations after filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The filing makes it the largest bankruptcy in trucking history.The logistics carrier
, based in Indianapolis, reported annual revenues more than $1bn as recently as 2015. But a federal fraud investigation, huge debts and the “enormous challenges” in the industry, according to the chief executive, Paul Svindland, have forced the trucking company off the road.
Many of the truck drivers were left stranded in the midst of making deliveries, as they await receiving bus tickets from the company to return home, now jobless and left without benefits two weeks before Christmas.
Their fuel cards were shut off, and many were reported left without any directions on where or how to turn in their rigs.“We were lied to for months,” said Smith, who has worked for Celadon for a year.
“We’ve been ignored, some stranded for days. I’ve still yet to hear from anyone at Celadon besides the message after midnight last night that was fleet-wide.”
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