United Furniture Industries (UFI) and subsidiary Lane Furniture reportedly terminated all of the company’s employees late Monday night.
According to reporting from WXII 12 News, UFI sent workers messages around midnight telling them not to report to work on Tuesday, November 22.
A separate memo obtained by the outlet said that all workers were immediately terminated except for the company’s OTR drivers who were out on delivery.
From the memo:
“At the instruction of the Board of Directors of United Furniture Industries, Inc., and all subsidiaries (the “Company”), we regret to inform you that due to unforeseen business circumstances the Company has been forced to make the difficult decision to terminate the employment of all its employees, effective immediately, on November 21, 2022, with the exception of over-the-road drivers that are out on delivery. Your layoff from the Company is expected to be permanent and all benefits will be terminated immediately without provision of COBRA.“
The memo told those drivers that they would be paid for the week and gave instructions to return equipment to the company:
“Whether or not you have completed your delivery, please immediately return equipment, inventory, and delivery documents for those deliveries that have been completed to one of the following locations: Winston-Salem, NC, Verona, MS, or Victorville, CA location. To be clear, do not complete any additional deliveries.“
The layoffs are expected to be permanent, and employees were reportedly notified via text or email.
“We regret that this difficult and unexpected situation has made this necessary. Additional information will be provided shortly,” UFI said.
UFI Transportation was founded in 2005 with 20 trucks and 50 trailers and grew to a fleet of about 200 trucks and 700 trailers, according to the company website. The company acquired Lane Furniture in 2017. Over the summer of 2022, UFI fired its CEO, CFO and executive vice president of sales and laid off about 300 workers.
UFI has locations in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Tupelo, Mississippi; and Victorville, California.
This is a developing story.
— WTVA 9 News (@wtva9news) November 22, 2022