Making the decision to shut down operations is something that is happening far too common recently. From waiting until midnight to spring the news to just writing checks owners know will bounce and not care, we have seen a lot of bad instances of companies not doing the right thing when they closed their doors.
That is different with the unfortunate shutdown of Mid Continent Trucking of Denison, Iowa. Brian Wickersham, one of the company’s owners told FreightWaves’ Clarissa Hawes in an interview:
“We consider our employees as family, but sometimes decisions get based on family more than they do anything else. I would rather be able to pay my employees while I still have the money than wait until I don’t have it and then have to tell my employees that I can’t pay them.”
Paul Cromwell, safety and risk manager at Mid Continent told FreightWaves that he has been in contact with all the drivers:
“Everybody who wants to work has found a job. I have a couple people weighing their options — they want to take a couple of weeks of paid vacation to kind of evaluate what they want to do next. I’ve been on the phone since the announcement, talking to different companies that have called and asking them what they pay, and then I’ve been getting the information out and emailing it to the drivers to help make it as seamless as possible for drivers.”
Mid Continent took care of their drivers
Mechanic Larry Brown, 40, of Bellevue, Iowa, worked for Mid Continent Trucking for two years. He started out as a wash bay tech but was moved into the shop after Ted Wickersham, a co-owner of Mid Continent alongside his brother, offered to help train him as a truck mechanic.
After coming to work for Mid Continent, Brown said Ted Wickersham offered to pay for his extensive dental repair work.
“Ted didn’t have to do that for me but he paid for everything and wouldn’t allow me to pay him back. That’s just one example of kindness both Wickershams showed their employees.” – Larry Brown in an interview with FreightWaves
The Wickershams also worked to find Brown a well-paying job working on reefer trailers that also provides a training program. Ted Wickersham set Brown up with about $1,000 worth of gauges he would need for machinaac’s training. Wickersham also helped another mechanic find a job that would help him pursue a career in the welding industry.
FMCSA’s SAFER website stated that Mid Continent Trucking had 33 power units and 38 drivers. The company was down to 25 employees, including truckers, at the time of its closure.
Clarissa Hawes, Senior Editor at FreightWaves, wrote about the closure. You can read her article by following the link.
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