Former NECCO employees line up to receive their final paychecks. (Bernice Corpuz/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)
REVERE (WBZ-AM) -- Workers queued up at the NECCO plant in Revere Friday to pick up their final paychecks, days after America's oldest operating candy maker was suddenly shuttered by its new owners--and Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo and Sen. Ed Markey were there to express their support.
The plant was closed Tuesday, leaving its 230 employees without jobs.
One of those workers, Rodolpho Rivera, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bernice Corpuz he worked with the company for 24 years. Rivera earned four weeks of paid vacation, but he hasn't taken any time off this year. He was expecting to get paid for the unused time, but he says his last paycheck is $1,000 less than it should be.
Juan Figueroa, who heads the workers' union, said the group will work with lawyers to make sure every worker gets every penny they've earned.
"On our contract, after you work 1,100 hours, you earn your vacation," he said. "I mean, if we're not making it until January 1, it's not our fault, it's their fault, so they have to pay for it."
There has already been an outpouring of support for the NECCO workers. Mayor Arrigo said his office has been contacted by about 30 local employers offering them jobs, and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker also expressed support for getting them employed.
"We're putting together job fairs for these folks, and we're gonna do everything we can to make sure everyone who was employed at NECCO lands on their feet," Gov. Charlie Baker told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Mike Macklin Friday. "I think in the economy we have here in Massachusetts, we should be able to figure out how to make that happen."
Arrigo and his staff handed out flyers to the displaced workers with information about possible employment, and posted more information on his Twitter account.
Sen. Ed Markey also visited the workers as they stood in line at the closed plant Friday. In a post on Twitter, he tied the plant's closure to the Trump Administration's economic policies: "This is the Trump economy: CEOs reaping huge profits and workers seeing none of the growth."
Markey said the workers were only receiving ten days of severence pay and less than 38 days of health care--and might lose their pensions.
"I'm going to fight to make sure the promises made to these workers are kept," he said.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bernice Corpuz (@BerniceWBZ) reports