A Bankrupt Colorado Company Is Now Holding Employees’ Money Hostage

A bankrupt Colorado company is now holding employees’ money hostage after workers were notified of layoffs on such short notice.

More than 70 employees of a longstanding Commerce City business are out of a job and paycheck after the company filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.

“It’s just a brutal slap in the face,” said Steven Ocana.

Up until, April 4, Ocana was an employee with JBS Pipeline, an excavating pipe contracting company that’s been in the Commerce City area for more than 20 years.

“We got a text message sent out [Thursday] saying all equipment and everybody needs to be in the shop. For now, we’re shut down,” said Ocana.

“Then, Friday morning, the president came out and told us that they had filed bankruptcy and that we were out of a job.

So, we had literally 12 hours’ notice of ‘do we know, do we not know,’ before we came in and we were told we were bankrupt.”

“I was angry because we had been asking questions [about] what’s going on,” said Shawn Greenwood.

Greenwood started at the company three months ago.

She says she quickly started to notice warning signs about JBS Pipeline struggling to keep up financially.

“It wasn’t adding up and I couldn’t figure out why,” she said.

Employees noticed issues like accounts they typically worked with to complete construction projects refusing to work with them or certain payments not being fulfilled.

“I personally opened the mail, so, I saw every notice we received. Looks like we weren’t paying anything.

We just stopped paying everything, but no one was saying anything,” said Talisha Spoelman, another former employee.

“None of my drivers could get fuel or certain parts that we needed or things like that because they shut the credit cards off,” said Ocana.

“They told us they’d be back on, they’d be back on, until Thursday evening when we got the text message.”

The owners of JBS Pipeline are Iron Ox Development Corporation, which is based out of Virginia and spearheaded by the Rust family. According to employees and online documents, JW Rust oversees the company in Commerce City.

Employees who used to work or had been working at JBS Pipeline for years say it wasn’t after Iron Ox Development Corporation took over the site from the previous owner in 2021 that things started to change.

“It just started to go downhill, more accounts were getting shut off and things like that, until they brought me back this year and I really learned that a lot of our accounts were permanently closed.

They wouldn’t sell to us at all in any way shape or form, even on credit,” said Ocana.

Employees who were laid off say they were never paid for their weeks’ worth of work, and some were not paid out any of their vacation time, per CBS News.

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Market News Today - A Bankrupt Colorado Company Is Now Holding Employees' Money Hostage.
Market News Today – A Bankrupt Colorado Company Is Now Holding Employees’ Money Hostage.

A massive crafts retailer is now lowering its prices on over 5,000 products to help customers stretch their money according to its CEO.

Michaels has dropped its prices to 2019 levels or lower as it aims to help customers “stretch their dollar,” according to the CEO.

Michaels on Thursday announced that it has lowered prices on over 5,000 products across categories including arts, crafts, DIY and home decor, according to a company press release.

Prices on frequently purchased items including paint, markers and pens have been reduced up to 15%, papers and stickers up to 20%, canvases up to 35% and T-shirts up to 40%, among other reductions.

The price drops are being promoted through in-store signage, advertisements and emails to customers.

Michaels is dropping prices to 2019 levels or lower at a time when customers are looking for deals, according to the company.

“It’s more important than ever to deliver exceptional value for every customer looking to stretch their dollar,” CEO Ashley Buchanan said in a statement.

“By lowering prices on thousands of our most popular items, we’re making creativity more affordable and giving our customers even more reasons to choose Michaels.”

The move comes amid a transformation at the arts and crafts retailer, reports Retail Dive.

“It recently announced its first brand campaign for MakerPlace by Michaels, an Etsy rival that launched in November, along with an in-store pilot of the marketplace.

The company also introduced birthday party planning services in the U.S. for children ages 4 to 13.”

At the start of March, Michaels revealed plans to expand its assortment and distribution of fabric to hundreds of stores, possibly as a way to gain market share as rival craft retailer Joann goes through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Michaels in April received an upgrade from S&P Global Ratings to B- from CCC+ due to improvements in operating margin and cash generation.

Michaels has also enhanced store operations and improved the drag of promotions on profitability, per S&P.

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Also Read: Giant Restaurant Now Makes An Unexpected Closure in South Carolina

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Market News Today - A Bankrupt Colorado Company Is Now Holding Employees' Money Hostage.
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