GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The owner of a Grand Rapids trucking company that abruptly shut down in September has paid his employees, according to former workers who reached out to Target 8.
Sunset Logistics on Clay Avenue SW south of 54th Street announced its permanent closure to employees on Sept. 25. In an email to workers, owner Harvey “Buddy” Gainey III, blamed the shut down on the “horrid” economy, slow freight market and dropping rates. According to federal records, the company employed 90 drivers plus administrative staff.
When Gainey initially failed to issue final paychecks, workers reached out to Target 8 seeking help.
On Monday morning, some of those same employees contacted Target 8 to report they had received pay stubs via email indicating direct deposits were imminent.
“The funds were deposited and available by Tuesday morning,” former Sunset Logistics driver David Whetstone wrote in an email to Target 8. “Still hoping to receive our escrow funds in the future.“
Drivers have so far not been reimbursed the $1,000 from each driver that Sunset held in escrow to protect the firm in case an employee quit and left equipment or cargo stranded.
A second worker told Target 8 it appears the company will not compensate employees for earned vacation time.
The Wage and Hour Division of Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity has been investigating Sunset Logistics for its failure to pay workers. Target 8 reached out to LEO to inquire about the status of the investigation but did not receive an immediate response.
According to auction house Miedema’s Orbitbid, Sunset Logistics is scheduled for an online auction in December.
“Sunset Logistics, in conjunction with secured creditor, has made the decision to close and will be selling all remaining assets and equipment via online auction with Orbitbid.com – a Miedema Asset Management Group Company,” Orbitbid wrote on its website.
The auction is scheduled for 8 a.m. Dec. 12 through 6 p.m. Dec. 13.