More than 100 workers could be represented by lawsuit

Former FMC workers claim company stole wages

By Stephen Betts | Mar 15, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts

Rockland — A group of former FMC workers claim the company stole wages from them when it sold the business during a multi-billion-dollar deal back in 2017.

That claim is in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, March 13, in Knox County Superior Court against FMC Corp. The workers also are seeking class action status to represent all former workers who were on the job when the sale occurred.

FMC sold the carrageenan plant on the Rockland waterfront in November 2017 to DowDuPont.

The lawsuit claims that workers did not receive their accrued vacation time for 2017 when the sale occurred. The lawsuit points out that FMC had a policy to pay out accrued vacation time when employment with FMC ended for workers.

The lawsuit names five longtime workers as plaintiffs -- Todd Conant of Rockport, who had worked for FMC since 1991; Thomas Ames of Owls Head, who had worked for FMC since 1991; Gregory Gould of Rockland, who had worked there since 1994; Rodney Mason, who had worked for FMC since 1990; and Karen Migliore, who had worked for the company since 2000.

But the lawsuit also seeks to have the lawsuit certified for class action status, meaning that the case would apply to all the former FMC workers -- estimated at more than 100.

The action by FMC amounts to wage theft, according to the lawsuit, and the workers seek double the amount owed, as well as attorney's fees and court costs.

The total amount of money being sought is not listed in the lawsuit. But workers with 20 or more years of longevity with FMC received five weeks of vacation annually.

The company issued a statement Friday in response to an email seeking comment.

 

"We recently received the complaint and are reviewing the assertions," stated FMC through its director of corporate communications and external affairs Emily Parenteau.

 

The plant produces carrageenan, a food additive that is used for thickening, gelling and stabilizing products such as ice cream, salad dressing, and toothpaste.

The manufacturing plant has been at Crockett's Point in Rockland since 1936, when Algin Corp. started the business of converting seaweed to carrageenan. FMC purchased the company in 1977 and operated it until the November 2017 sale.

The plant is one of the largest employers in Knox County and the largest property taxpayer in Rockland.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Stephen Betts | Mar 17, 2019 17:24

There were 107 employees at the time of the sale and that is one of the largest employers in the county, both in terms of numbers of workers and payroll.



Posted by: James York | Mar 17, 2019 00:28

Mr. Betts, I am not so sure that 'they are one of the largest employers in Knox County' as you claim. Lot of sub-contractors, seems like a pretty lean operation that is actually drawing a check from Dupont



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