U.S. Postal Service contractor Matheson Flight Extenders (MFE) filed paperwork Thursday stating that it plans to eliminate 305 jobs and close its sorting facility in Chicopee, Massachusetts, by the end of October, bringing to about 1,000 the total job cuts it has announced in recent days.
This marks the third Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice the Sacramento, California-based company has filed recently. It is also eliminating 335 mail sorting facility jobs in Atlanta and 327 in Brandywine, Maryland.
WARN notices are required under federal law for companies to provide employees 60 days’ notice of a possible plant closure or mass layoff.
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In the WARN letter, obtained by FreightWaves, MFE stated the planned layoff of forklift operators, maintenance staff and material handlers is expected to be permanent.
MFE and Matheson Postal Services are wholly owned subsidiaries of Matheson Trucking. The family-owned entities, founded by Robert and Carole Matheson in 1962, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2022.
One month after the bare-bones petition was filed, attorneys for the Postal Service alleged in court filings that the Matheson entities filing for bankruptcy was about “renegotiating their contracts” with the agency.
At the time of its bankruptcy filing, the Postal Service stated that the Matheson companies had 54 mail contracts. MFE was associated with 44 of the contracts with the Postal Service.
MFE also operates 38 small to midsize facilities that “act as an interface between air and truck transport of mail and packages, referred to as terminal handling services,” according to court filings.
Two sticking points in court filings between MFE and the Postal Service were over the two Surface Transfer Centers (STC) in Atlanta and Brandywine that were hit with WARN notices of permanent layoffs two weeks ago.
“MFE has stated that it ‘currently estimates it has incurred reimbursable costs from the [Postal Service] of approximate $24 million’ associated with the Atlanta, Georgia, and Brandywine, Maryland STC facilities,” court documents stated.
This is a developing story.