A short time ago some of us in the local blogging community was discussing a situation involving Congressman Philobluster Hare and his media dog and pony show when a local company, Seaford Clothing, was on the verge of being closed due to financial problems. I believed then as I do now, that Hare figured there was no real way to keep the company from closing. Still he put on a veritable media circus promising to be the Superhero that saved the company by forcing the “evil” banking system to bend to Hare’s omnipotence and will. So then Hare could claim to rescue the crippled company and thus saving all its workers from the fate of unemployment. The media was reporting during that time that Hare was insinuating that he was going to save the current jobs, plus he had also negotiated an expansion of jobs and workers for the local factory. It was a nice fairy tale. But the fairy tale ended on a sour note, as the company was not saved; and the jobs were lost as the mighty Casey/Hare struck out!
As I was reading a 08/31/09 Christina Salter article on QCOnline concerning the Seaford workers, I asked myself – did Philobluster do more than just strike out? According to the article the workers of Seaford and a sister plant down in Georgia have filed a lawsuit against their former employers – claiming they are owed sixty days back-pay and benefits that they are allocated under federal bankruptcy laws – since the shop was closed without proper legal notice. It sounds as if they might have a case. On the other hand the article also stated that –“If a “faltering company” is trying to stay open, and giving notice of a closing could ruin an opportunity to gain new capital or business, the employer is exempt. There is also an exemption for business circumstances that were not “reasonably foreseeable” at the time notice would have been due. In these cases, employers must prove they qualify for an exemption, and must still provide as much advance notice as possible.” That is probably the weak link in the lawsuit for the workers. So now I have to wonder; did Phil Hare’s phony portrayal of Superman, as he preened and bragged for the cameras of his super job saving powers- give the dying company credibility and legal protection to avoid paying the wages and benefits normally due do the workers under law? Has Phil Hares brazen desire to pander for Union votes cost these workers the needed money and benefits they might have been entitled to? It would be a shame if Phil Hare’s ego and political pandering cost these workers money they were due! And if it does affect their final payouts- was Phil just incompetent, uncaring or maybe both? I am worried for the workers sake; that Philobluster didn’t simply strike out, but actually perpetrated a golden sombrero.