LandAir, a trucking company with Vermont facilities in Windsor and Williston, has filed for bankruptcy, according to court documents.
The company, whose legal name is North East Freightways and headquartered in North Easton, Massachusetts, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy — meaning the company will be wound up — in federal court. Massachusetts bankruptcies on July 14.
Vermont Labor Commissioner Michael Harrington had written to the company on July 7 about reports that it had abruptly closed.
LandAir was founded as Allied Air Freight in 1968 by Fred Spencer, according to the company website, which indicates that Spencer has partnered with airlines and air freight forwarders at Burlington International Airport. The family eventually sold LandAir to a private equity firm. spencer deceased in January.
The company specializes in shipping loads smaller than a truck but larger than a parcel. In the industry, these companies are known as LTL, which means “less than a truckload”.
The company said only one of its Vermont sites – a 20-door truck terminal on Ruth Carney Drive in Windsor – was among 11 properties that required immediate attention due to vandalism risks or the presence of materials. dangerous.
The company also has an 18-gate truck terminal in Williston.
The company said it has $1.3 million in assets and $44.4 million in debt, including $33.8 million it owes to the Los Angeles-based private equity firm that owns LandAir, Corbel Capital Partners.
Harrington, the labor commissioner, said his department had contacted the company “so that we can obtain the names and contact details of the employees so that we can ensure that we are providing services.” Harrington said the department also wants to make sure employees receive all wages and benefits that are due to them.
“It obviously takes a different turn because they’ve filed for bankruptcy court,” Harrington said. “And so that leads us to look at other ways to work with the company to make sure employees get what they’re entitled to.”
Harrington said his department has now obtained a list of Vermont employees from LandAir attorneys and has begun contacting employees to provide them with unemployment compensation and re-employment services. He said his office has been in contact with the attorney general’s office in case the state wants to file a claim on behalf of the employees, as it did when Koffee Kup Bakery folded last year.
In the Koffee Kup case, a federal bankruptcy judge ordered the company to pay over $800,000 in back wages to its employees.
Harrington said fewer than 50 Vermont employees are affected by LandAir’s bankruptcy.
Most of the thresholds that require employers to notify state and local officials and employees of layoffs under the Federal WARN Act and Vermont’s Potential Layoff Notice Act are when 50 or more employees are affected, Harrington said. But he added that if a small business shuts down a facility completely, it may still need to comply with warnings required by federal and state law.
As of Monday, LandAir had not filed a notice of WARN act regarding impending layoffs in Vermont.
Attorney Justin Kesselman, who is representing LandAir in its bankruptcy filing, did not respond to an email requesting an interview.
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