MEMPHIS, Tenn. — XPO Logistics confirmed it is planning on closing its Memphis facility in June, laying off more than 400 employees.
In a statement by a company spokesperson, XPO said the closure was the result of a decision by its customer, Verizon, and said the majority of the employees laid off will have opportunities at the company’s other local facilities.
“Our customer has made a business decision and as a result this facility will close in June. Our presence in the Memphis community remains strong, and we have new jobs available for the majority of these employees in our 11 other local facilities. We’re also opening a new facility in Memphis later this year, which will create approximately 80 new jobs.”
WREG was first made aware of the reported closure after The International Brotherhood of Teamsters released their own statement on the closing. They claimed XPO would be closing its Verizon facility on April 15, 2019 due to “an overall business model change initiated and completed by our customer [Verizon].”
The group claimed that wasn’t the real reason, and said the facility was closing due to the workers exposing sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination practices at the facility.
Last year, WREG reported that a number of women had filed complaints against the company alleging sexual harassment and discrimination. Workers also claimed they were suffering from exhaustion from working 12-hour shifts with no air conditioning.
XPO denied that it was closing the facility because of workers’ complaints.
“XPO has a strict no retaliation policy in place,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “We encourage employees to voice concerns – including anonymously – without any fear of reprisal.”
The company said the Memphis facility opened in 2003 under a different owner, and XPO took over in 2014.
Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, said he will meet with company officials.
“I am very disappointed that XPO Logistics will lay off more than 400 employees. I have previously met with employees and with the senior management of the company regarding labor issues. I have another meeting with company officials scheduled in two weeks when I look forward to addressing these issues further. This new layoff development is disturbing and I hope the employees affected will be treated fairly and ultimately find new jobs.”