NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB)- Imagine if your paychecks suddenly stopped coming? Would you still go into work?
That’s the dilemma that employees are facing at Niagara Generation LLC in Niagara Falls.
“There’s no correspondence with the home office. They won’t even give us an answer.” said one of the seven workers who are left at the power plant on Frontier Avenue in Niagara Falls. He didn’t want his name used because he’s still hoping things turn around at work.
He says ever since June, the weekly paychecks have been sporadic, but three weeks ago, they simply stopped coming. “I know that two people’s landlords are on their back, um keep in mind, this is six to eight weeks it’s been going on. You get a paycheck, then you don’t get a paycheck, you get one two weeks later so you can’t even pay for groceries, you can’t pay utilities, you can’t make your car payment, obviously your rent and mortgage anything like that. Going anywhere on vacation is totally out of the question.”
Five other laid off workers are also owed money, and none of the twelve are getting any answers from the home office of Sterling Energy in Indiana. Niagara Generation’s mortgage has been foreclosed upon, and even the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency is suing the company for reneging on a half million dollar loan.
The power plant has used coal and wood to create electricity since 1989, and it has changed owners before. These workers feel they’ll be in a better position to be made whole if they don’t quit. ” If we walk away, we might lose our personal time, our vacation and sick time, any accrued time and on top of that we would have a worse chance of recouping our money in a lawsuit.”
Employees feel the plant is still viable but they can’t hold out much longer. “Everyday, everyone’s going ‘I don’t know, I don’t know if we can keep doing this.”