Rock Tops Inc / Employee Pay
Well first of let me say Happy Holiday to all of you cause I'm sure this is one that most of you that are reading it will not forget. I was employeed at the manufacturing plant in Macomb Township, MI. Something that I'm regretting cause now I have to put this place on all of my resumes.
The whole way this transposed was over the past 3-4 months we all knew somthing was up but, myself and others blamed the economy for the poor sales but here is my story.
Aproximately the beginning of November or so a memo was put up in the shop that all employess were to take a 15% pay cut do to poor sales. This personally did not hurt me that much but there were already underpaid hard workers who had a skill that most cannot grasp. Hence after this 15% paycut some of these guys were making close mininum wage with families to support. In the shop, we blamied the 15% cut on the fact that we had just leased a new huge maufacturing plant, with 3 new CNC and a computerized 360 degree water-jet saw that alone cost 3/4 of a million, down the street from the original plant that was to help bear the load of all these new out of state store and of coarse this awsome economy that we live in (THanks G.W. keep the checks flowing to Iraq though for those people that don't even want us there.) Well, some people quit and some wanted to quit and were convinced to stay by management. I stayed because things can't stay like this forever things may be rough now but everything will turn around I'll just ride it out becuse I was being paid well and had health insurance, something that most of these smaller shops around here don't offer.
Well, to everyones surprise we just continued to open new stores, 3 more I think, 1 in MO, 1 in Kentucky, and 1 in Tennesse. We all thought WTF if we are hurting for money so bad why are we instead of holding back are we going "balls to the walls" still. I would show up for work in the morning and there would be brand new cube vans parked in the parking lot to go to these new locations. So most of us including myself kind of felt like we were being robbed a little.
Fast forward to to early December, a new memo was posed. The shop will be closed from December 23-January 6. Again alot of people freaked out beacue of the short notice. I was owed a week of paid vacations so between the paid holidays and the 5 days of vacation I was just going to not be paid for one day and not skip a beat.
Well, during the next few weeks I would check the computer for the weekly sales and they were comparable with last year however we had how many more stores, how many new employess, overall, how much more over head. But, nothing was done but lay off a few guy in the shop who voluntered because they could make more on unemployment after the 15%.
Then, the last week I worked the week of December 12th the hammer started to drop. They laid off 44 people company wide then people really started to freak. I personally had a trip planned for the last week in december and asked repeadily if I should cancel this trip and I was told "No, you're ok, go and have a good time..." (yeah O.K.!) So still I stuck with it, then came Friday the 19th. Everyone knew something was up but management wasn't saying a word. We had a little Christmas Party thanks to one of our distributers. then about 3:30 we got the phone call that we were waiting for. Bob the owner called and said "Get everyone out, and lock the doors!" Nothing about being paid, nothing about what was going on at all, hell we were told we didn't even need to punch out. All the while local kitchens that were ready to be installed on Monday and a few for Tuesday were ready to go out.
Thus start the "what next feeling", I was able to get the owners cell phone number... no answer, I called my shop forman... didn't call me back. We used a payroll service ADP Totalsource and I was able to check my employee snapshop and it said I was terminated/layed-off on the 7th of December. Unless I'm going crazy I remember working 60 hours the week of December 8th (I won't forget that cause we had to work on Saturday and I had plans that I had to cancel) and 46 hours the second week leading up to December 19th. Neither of which I was paid for almost a total of $1900.00, ohhh yeah don't forget about my trip that I would have canceled if someone was just honest with me.
So here is what I have to offer to my fellow employees. When you try to claim unemployment DO NOT try to claim from the 7th they will not let you. You have to claim from the last time you WORKED, so for me the 19th. I called the Michingan Department of Labor and was told I need to call the Bankrupcy Court in Detroit first to see if they have record of Rocktops. I did so, and they have no record yet. So, I filled a complaint with Department of Labor just to cover my butt. ( http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/email_parser/before_filing_wage_claim.htm ) here is the link to take you right to the form. However when I called the bankrupcy court they told me that we all should be getting a letter in the mail about this sometime... who knows when and if they file. It all depends on when Bob and Charlie get around to it I guess, maybe when they get back from Florida and their done rolling around in all of our money employess, customers, and distributers.
One more thing, does anyone else get the feeling that this whole thing was planned out. The amount of money we owe places like Dwyer Marble and Sone is 100's of thoushand of dollars, the same with with the company we got the sinks from those sinks are made in China and are not that expensive and we owe them 100k. It almost seems like these guys were not paying thier bills for months. and those are just the two I've heard. And I know I was busting my hump 12 hours a day 6-7-days a week so we had work and it was all paid in FULL. Also, why would you continue making sales the week or the 11th we couldn't get material cause no one would sell to us cause we owed soooo much money to them all. And just the Fact that Park Industries took back 4 of the CNC's at 250k each. What were they waiting for to happen, win the Mega Millions to get out this mess, and if Bob was such a good business man you think he would have seen this comming. A crooked S.O.B. I think would know exactly what they were doing in this situation.
Finally, Who is Mark Maupin of Budget Realty, LLC? When you look up Rock Tops online his name is all over the place in many, multiple articles. I just saw a new article posted on the 13th of December refuring to the MO stores and some kind of workshop Charlie supposedly did. Didn't Mark get the memo that we are out of business as of the 7th cause I was supposedly canned as of then. He looks to be some part of a real estate group or association, or maybe an investor in the company of some sort. I think his hand are dirty with our money too.
Please Feel Free to post comments/rebuttles if you hear anything or have and suggestions at to what we should about our money, employees and customers. We all need to stick together if we are going to get what is rightfully ours.