Former Interlake Workers Protest at Plant

March 11, 2009
PONTIAC, Ill.—Former employees of Interlake Material Handling Co. protested yesterday at the previous Interlake facility.

United Fixtures Inc., the parent company of Interlake, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. The more than 200 workers were terminated last week.

Mecalux, the new owner of the facility, was taking applications for new employees amid the protest.

“The former owners of Interlake used the bankruptcy filing to purge debt owed to suppliers, vacate the union contract and terminate all employees of the company,” said Ralph Timan, president of UAW Local 2488, in a press release. “Due to a lack of employee protections in the U.S. Bankruptcy laws, the new owner, Mecalux, is not required by law to offer continued employment to any of the workers at the plant.”

Timan also claimed that workers did not receive payment for their vacation or the severance package required by their union contract.