San Francisco, Dec 29 (IANS) David Belford , the US-based owner of United Furniture Industries who abruptly fired all of its 2,700 employees in one night last month and disappeared, has resurfaced, saying he is “devastated by the turn of events” and calling the situation “agonising”.
According to The New York Post, he has been quietly assisting a wind-down of the business.
Belford fired 2,700 employees on November 21 at furniture factories in Mississippi, North Carolina, and California in the US.
“Only very recently did I learn just how dire the situation had become, how limited the company’s options were,” he told a local publication.
“Unfortunately, the reality of UFI’s circumstances was brought to the board’s attention far too late,” he was quoted as saying.
The company’s lenders, including Wells Fargo, are spearheading the bulk of the shutdown, returning trucks and equipment to vendors and paying for security to protect these assets, according to the report.
It’s not clear whether UFI will file for bankruptcy.
Some employees have signed onto lawsuits alleging that UFI violated labor laws by firing them without 60 days’ notice, the report mentioned.