(Collierville, TN) Meetings are underway between the PepsiCo company and Teamsters Local 984 after 60 employees were laid off unexpectedly Thursday.
The company says it was a matter of efficiency, but the union says PepsiCo violated the law by not giving workers a 60 day notice.
The union and its attorneys are fighting to get the employees 60 days of pay, plus a severance package.
Many of the workers were long time employees who have now found themselves thrust into a large pool of already unemployed Shelby Countians.
Lashonda Galloway hasn’t worked a full-time job in two years.
She’s only been able to land temporary work, “It is hard, very hard and the unemployment they do give you don’t even be worth it.”
The Tennessee Career Center took the place of the old unemployment office on Poplar.
As of June, the State of Tennessee shut down all of those offices and everything from the filing of claims to resume help is now done online.
“Just by making the website a little easier to understand. I have more computer skills than others maybe and I find it complicated,” said Deanna Escobar.
So, how difficult will be for the Pepsi employees to find new jobs?
“I did a search on that jobs4tn.gov and came up close to 3,500 jobs on that system and that’s just Shelby and Fayette. I think it’s tough but there’s definitely hope to find work,” said Jeff Hentschel, TN Dept of Labor and Workforce Development.
The interviews don’t come easy, but when they do, those like Galloway are thankful.
“A young lady is supposed to be coming in to interview a lot of people next Tuesday and its possible I could get that job. I hope I do anyway,” said Galloway.