Just three business days before a new round of entry-level sales representatives were scheduled to start work on April 20 at Cincinnati-based Total Quality Logistics, some received telephone calls from recruiters notifying them that their start date had been pushed back until sometime in May.
This isn’t good news for around 200 of approximately 400 new hires that were scheduled to start today at some of TQL’s 57 offices nationwide, a source told FreightWaves.
The economic downturn and COVID-19 were cited as the reasons for postponing the start date for nearly half of TQL’s new hires.
Tom Millikin, corporate communications manager of TQL, did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment regarding the last-minute news of the delayed start date.
TQL has come under fire recently after its handling of a mass firing in mid-March that left hundreds of former employees without severance packages, health insurance and non-compete agreements that prevent them from working for another brokerage within one year of leaving the company.
Sources said some had accepted their positions in late January or early February and that TQL’s short notice to either agree to the one-month start date delay or seek employment elsewhere has put them in a financial bind.
With U.S. Department of Labor statistics showing that approximately 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past month amid the coronavirus pandemic, a source said some new hires have no choice but to wait until May.
Several logistics and trucking companies have laid off workers in the past month in response to the pandemic’s effect on freight markets.
Layoffs started rippling through companies in mid-March as Freightos and Lipsey Logistics announced they were cutting staff. Freight brokerage Arrive Logistics of Austin, Texas, announced it was slashing 10% of its workforce because of the pandemic.
Covenant Transportation Group (NASDAQ: CVTI) recently announced that it’s shutting down Southern Refrigerated Transport’s Texarkana, Arkansas, terminal and will move its operations to its Chattanooga headquarters.
In Texas alone, nearly 1,200 layoffs were reported in the manufacturing, logistics or distribution industries, including Step Energy Solutions, Pioneer Frozen Foods, UTLX Manufacturing and Zachry Industrial-LyondellBasell, according to a recent FreightWaves report.
As the economy falters, tech companies have also had to make employee cuts. In late March, KeepTruckin, the maker of electronic logging devices, announced it was forced to lay off 18% of its global workforce, or 349 of its 1,900 employees.
Autonomous trucking startup Kodiak Robotics of Mountain View, California, announced on April 16 that it laid off about 20% of its staff.
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