Local trucking company suddenly closes, leaving hundreds unemployed

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Hundreds of workers around the country say they've been left high and dry. LME Trucking shuttered all its locations, including one in Kansas City, with no advance warning.

Don Czechan is the proud father of an 8-year-old with autism. His son made a colorful paper chain to help count the days til a family trip to Disney.

"Telling my son he's not getting to go to Disney is not going to be easy. He's been looking forward to it for a while," Czechan said.

Money's a lot tighter now after Don lost his job at the end of last week. He'd been working for LME Trucking since March.

"It was like the perfect job. It really was. They treated us well. There was no warning, no whispers or rumors around the office," he said.

Now, he and nearly 60 Kansas City co-workers are unemployed.

"They just called me at 4:30. I was out delivering. They said, 'Bring it in. We're all fired,'" Czechan said.

He then learned LME shut down all operations nationwide. Nearly 600 workers were let go instantly, which likely violates federal WARN Act. It requires a 60-day notice for large layoffs.

"It's a driver's market and I'm sure we'll all end up okay but it's tough. Mentally it's hard to swallow and then physically going out and finding a good job," Czechan said.

To make matters worse, LME workers say they're not getting money they're still owed.

"We're two weeks behind on our pay so we were scheduled to get paid Friday morning and of course that didn't go in our bank so now I'm two weeks behind, so that's three weeks total we will not get paid," Czechan said.

There were signs LME was in trouble elsewhere. The company faced a union fight in Minnesota, which led it to file bankruptcy in 2017.

After its sudden shutdown, LME  posted a message on its website saying employees might have to wait 90 days or more for their money.

"They have made multiple decisions now that's borderline fraud and it`s getting into that area so I hope somebody can go after them," Czechan said.

Local workers in Kansas City are now considering a class-action lawsuit and they're also filing complaints with the US Department of Labor, hoping to recover lost wages.

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