A trucking company with a long history in the Valley shut its doors without warning Saturday night, leaving its workers without a job and some without an easy way home.
About 700 people are without work after Falcon Transport Co. announced to its workers that the company shut down.
Nicole Rupert, who worked as a dispatcher for Falcon Transport for four years, received the email around 8 p.m.
“I specialized in booking loads and freight for drivers to do anything with basically,” Rupert said.
She said office employees left work on Friday, having no idea about what was going to happen.
“My fiance worked there as well, so we’re both out of work. My best friend worked there. My future mother-in-law worked there, so we’re basically in the same boat.”
Rupert said people who worked out of the terminals, like the one in Austintown, were lucky.
“A lot of the drivers I dealt with were local here, so good for them. They’re all home, but there are a few drivers displaced over the road,” she said.
Oliver Ford is one of those drivers. He is stuck in Tomsbrook, Virginia.
“I’m just going to leave the truck here. I don’t have a job. The company is out of business, so apparently they don’t care about us. Turnabout is fair play, so what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Your truck is in Tomsbrook, Virginia. Go get it,” Ford said.
Like many drivers, Ford is owed three weeks of pay. Checks never arrived on Saturday.
Driver Brian Chapman was in Austintown waiting for his pay and his Sunday load to roll out when he got the email.
“It’s wrong, the way they did it, and it was a great company to work for too,” Chapman said.
The drivers say they will find new work soon, but the office workers are worried that it could take time to find a new position.
Many people were quick to blame GM Lordstown for the company shutting down on social media, but many employees say that’s not the case. The truck drivers were hauling various goods, including groceries and toilet paper.
“GM, it did have a big impact because they were a very large portion of our business for a very long time, but we kind of adapted. As the shifts went away, we adapted, we took on more business. It wasn’t just GM-related,” Rupert said.
In 2017, Falcon Transport was sold by the local family. It was founded by businessman and philanthropist Don Constantini.
It was purchased by an investment firm out of Los Angeles called CounterPoint Capital Partners.
Calls made to company officials have not been returned and our news crews were asked to leave the property.