Saturday 26 November 2022 11:47 PM Mom-of-four, 36, says she's been 'torn apart' by furniture manufacturer firing ... trends now

Saturday 26 November 2022 11:47 PM Mom-of-four, 36, says she's been 'torn apart' by furniture manufacturer firing ... trends now
Saturday 26 November 2022 11:47 PM Mom-of-four, 36, says she's been 'torn apart' by furniture manufacturer firing ... trends now

Saturday 26 November 2022 11:47 PM Mom-of-four, 36, says she's been 'torn apart' by furniture manufacturer firing ... trends now

A worker at the Mississippi-based furniture company that laid off 2,700 people over one night via text is speaking out, condemning the bosses and saying she's been 'torn apart' by the move. 

Approximately 2,700 workers, most of whom live in northeast Mississippi, with others in North Carolina and California, lost their jobs in the early hours of Tuesday. The digital announcement was made overnight, while many were sleeping. 

Toria Neal, a 36-year-old mother of four and former traffic controller for United, said she 'couldn't believe my eyes' when she read the message she and her co-workers received after midnight Tuesday.  

Neal added: 'The text said we were all being terminated and all our benefits including our health insurance were being terminated effective immediately. I had a really bad breakdown right there on the spot. I thought, what am I going to do?' 

Her four children are all under the age of 21 and she says money is tight and there are bills to pay. 

Toria Neal (pictured center), a worker at the Mississippi-based furniture company that laid off 2,700 people over one night via text is speaking out, condemning the bosses and saying she's been 'torn apart' by the move

Toria Neal (pictured center), a worker at the Mississippi-based furniture company that laid off 2,700 people over one night via text is speaking out, condemning the bosses and saying she's been 'torn apart' by the move

Neal, a 36-year-old mother of four and former traffic controller for United, said she 'couldn't believe my eyes' when she read the message she and her co-workers received after midnight Tuesday

Neal, a 36-year-old mother of four and former traffic controller for United, said she 'couldn't believe my eyes' when she read the message she and her co-workers received after midnight Tuesday

'It tore me apart,' she told the New York Post. 'It felt like such a betrayal. Not just of me but of all of us. I worry about the older employees there who take medication every day and won’t be able to afford it after today without health insurance. 

Neal, who had worked at United since 2015, called going through Thanksgiving after the layoffs 'so hard and so emotional. I have family members who work there as well. I still find it difficult to talk about without breaking down.'

She added that many employees still have personal affects locked up in the building where they worked. 'We had no inkling anything like this was going to happen, either.'

Shortly after the heartbreaking announcement, one driver who was out on a delivery was arrested by cops in Mississippi and accused of attempting to remove furniture from his truck. He hasn't been identified, and no further details have been shared. 

United Furniture Industries sent a memo via email and text to workers late Monday night informing them not to report to their shifts Tuesday. The layoffs come as economic experts predict a recession to hit in 2023. 

The memo said the layoffs were made at the 'At the instruction of the board of directors … 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 Nov. 21.'

The memo did not offer any specific details about what led to the layoffs, merely referring to it as a 'difficult and unexpected situation.' Furniture Today, a trade publication, reported that United fired its chief executive, replacing him with current CEO Todd Evans.

The memo did not offer any specific details about what led to the layoffs, merely referring to it as a 'difficult and unexpected situation.' Furniture Today, a trade publication, reported that United fired its chief executive, replacing him with current CEO Todd Evans (pictured)

The company's chief financial officer and executive vice president of sales in June were also let go. Evans was the former president of Standard Furniture, an Alabama-based company.

A second email informed workers their 'layoff from the company is expected to be permanent and all benefits will be terminated immediately without provision of COBRA,' referring to the federal law that gives people who lose their jobs an option to keep their employer-sponsored health insurance coverage under some circumstances.

Some employees were sound asleep when the emails hit their inboxes. Others never saw the emails before heading to work. 

Company drivers who were out making deliveries were told to return to a United Furniture location immediately to turn in their trucks, most were told that they would be paid through the end of the week.

Approximately 2,700 workers, most of whom live in northeast Mississippi, with others in North Carolina and California, lost their jobs Monday

Approximately 2,700 workers, most of whom live in northeast Mississippi, with others in North Carolina and California, lost their jobs Monday

The Daily Press reports that a United Furniture Industries driver was arrested in Monroe County, Mississippi, for allegedly attempting to remove furniture from his truck. 

Audrey Garth, 37, is facing charges of grand larceny. Authorities say that they recovered furniture from a nearby parking lot in relation to the arrest. 

At least one former employee, Toria Neal, has filed a lawsuit against her former employer saying that abrupt firing violated federal law as workers were not given the

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