250 former employees of Northern Beef Packers in Aberdeen are wondering tonight where their next paycheck will come from.
They were laid off this week after NBP filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy one week ago.
All of them are frustrated and today some of that frustration boiled over.
This meeting at Aberdeen's Best Western Ramkota was meant to help former NBP employees get information about finding new jobs. But it was instantly clear, many were still upset about their old ones.
"I am a single mom with three kids. I'm mad cause they haven't paid us in like two and a half weeks." Shannon Anderson lives in Aberdeen and worked in NBP's packaging division. She worked at NBP because she believed the company had the potential for success. Now she...and all of her friends...don't have jobs. "I can go out and get another job but I loved working at NBP. I loved the people and all we want is our paycheck. We just want what we deserve."
All these people want their paychecks and their story is the same as Shannon's: they haven't seen any money in weeks.
And the Department of Labor, which set up this meeting, says they can't do anything to help these people get their money. Marcia Hultman is a Deputy Secretary with South Dakota's Department of Labor. "With the bankruptcy filing, those issues are now in the hands of the bankruptcy court and there is nothing we can do to intervene or assist in that matter."
And with the ending of another week, NBP employees are no closer to being paid.
And as for when those employees could be paid, there is no clear cut answer.
Employee pay could be considered one of NBP's outstanding debts and if it is, it's possible the employees will not be paid until a bankruptcy court judge finalizes the case.
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