Pay extended for workers at Wayne plant hit by tornado

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Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 12:00 am

WAYNE, Neb. — The holiday season became a little brighter this week for employees of the Pacific Coast Feather Co. here.

Joe Crawford, president and chief executive officer of the Seattle-based company, posted on the employee group’s Facebook page that the workforce at the Wayne plant will continue receiving pay through Dec. 31.

“In other words, there will be no interruption in your employment status from immediately prior to the tornado,” Crawford said in his Facebook post.

The Wayne facility was one of several businesses in the northeast Nebraska town severely damaged or destroyed when an EF-4 tornado ripped through on Oct. 4. Since then, employees of the manufacturing facility have faced uncertainty about the company’s presence in Wayne.

No decision has yet been made on whether the company will rebuild the facility in Wayne, said Karen Starritt, the director of human resources for the company.

Previously, the company had said it would pay employees with full benefits and no payroll deductions through Dec. 4. Under the arrangement, employees who continued to receive pay from Pacific Coast Feather were not eligible to be employed by another company. That policy remains in place.

“An employee cannot do both,” Crawford said. “If this occurs, it will put the entire program at risk for everyone.”

In addition, current employees are eligible for the company’s Christmas bonus. The company also will continue to offer health insurance without payroll deduction for Wayne employees who were on the payroll as of the day of the tornado.

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