Carthage Fabrics Owes Taxes, Back Pay
Tax lien notices have been posted at the Carthage Fabrics plant, and its former employees are still owed for their last days on the job.
But CEO Dan Selinka, reached by telephone in New York, said Tuesday that he is fighting hard to rescue the company, a family-run business.
"I have put everything I have into this, everything," Selinka said. "Blood, sweat and tears -- everything. I am working on it."
Selinka didn't have time to discuss taxes the company owes when the county called him, according to Deputy Tax Administrator Esther Cummings.
"I called him, but he said he was too busy to talk then," she said.
Moore County has taken liens on all company property until unpaid personal and real estate taxes are paid.
"The notice says property, machinery or equipment may not be removed without at least 48 hours' notice to our office," Cummings said.
The company owes $11,838 for personal property tax on such things as machinery and furnishings, and $9,919 real estate taxes, according to Cummings.
She hopes Selinka will be successful, but nothing can go out the door of the plant until the tax issues are resolved.
In the meantime, former workers say they are finding out the company didn't pay insurance premiums and other obligations with money that was withheld from the last paychecks they did receive. They didn't get paid for their last weeks at all.
"I am out two pay periods," said former employee Glenn Brower, of Robbins. "I think Nelson Patterson (plant manager) is out more. They didn't pay in for my medical, didn't pay my Afflac. They took out for it, but I found out they didn't send the money in. I know there are others who didn't get their child support paid."
This week, the N.C. Employ-ment Security Commission announced that the workers who lost their jobs at Carthage Fabrics are eligible to receive special assistance in finding new jobs or paying for training programs, according to ESC Chairman Harry E. Payne Jr. He made the announcement after the commission received notification that the U.S. Dept. of Labor approved a Trade Adjustment Assistance petition filed by a company official.
The Federal Trade Act provides special benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program for workers who are laid off or have hours reduced when their employer has been adversely affected by increased imports from other countries.
That's what has hit the textile industry across the state.
"I have been expecting the plant to close," Brower said. "I have been working there 22 years, and I have been expecting it to close for 22 years."
Brower is a skilled textile worker. His job at Carthage Fabrics was to set up the patterns looms to weave the complex designs in upholstery materials the plant produced for the furniture industry.
"I know the new looms are sitting there," Brower said, referring to more efficient machines the company recently acquired. "They got them on trade, and I think the fellow that got the old looms came and picked them up."
Affected workers such as Brower and Patterson could receive the cost of up to two years in a training program (tuition, books and fees); up to 130 weeks of weekly unemployment allowances and income assistance (while attending training); job search and relocation allowances; and Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC).
Currently, the average cost of agency-approved two-year training programs in North Carolina is $5,000, according to the ESC.
Workers 50 years of age or older could otherwise be eligible for the Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) program, which is an alternative for older workers not interested in training.
Individuals who lost their jobs at Carthage Fabrics since May 28, 2007, could receive Trade Adjustment Allowances, assistance for retraining, relocation or job search allowances, HCTC and/or ATAA under the Trade Act Program. Individuals would need to contact the nearest ESC office to determine eligibility.
Contact John Chappell at 783-5841 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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