On July 11, 2019 LME Inc., a Minnesota based company, closed down without warning to their hundreds of employees. LME also said that their former employees should expect to wait months to see their final paychecks earned.
With no notice over 40 terminals were abruptly shut down and roughly 600 employees, mostly drivers, were laid off. In a message LME Inc sent to all employees, they stated, “Unfortunately our lender is in control of all finances. The lender must be paid all monies owed to the lender first before payment can be made to the employees. This process will take at least 90 days if not longer.” The former employees said this is because of the pay structure and they’re missing at least three weeks of pay.
LME closed down shortly after an announcement that the company was ordered to pay over $1 million in back pay to 89 union workers laid off in 2016 by Lakeville Motor Express, which was the name LME previously operated under. In fact, Lakeville Motor Express filed bankruptcy just after they laid off 95 union workers without notice. According to past employees, they relocated, changed the name of their company and staffed LME with lower paid non-union employees from Lakeville Motor Express.
The fleet is under investigation by the state of Minnesota and the National Labor Relations Board for allegedly reopening as Chameleon Carrier, or a different name, once again. In addition, LME didn’t file a WARN notice as required by law to provide workers 60 day notice of mass layoffs.