On the heels of learning of the loss of jobs of our friends at CHCH, we asked Romen Podzyhun of Channel Zero the following questions:
1. It appears as though bankruptcy has been filed, which, amongst other things, allows the company to by-pass any severance requirements that would otherwise be available to its employees. The impact of this has left many employees feeling abandoned and betrayed. Can you comment as to why this measure was taken without pre-warning employees. Or had such notice been given?
2. What do you say to those employees who do feel abandoned and “kicked to the curb” as per the descriptions that have been used by some employees?
3. A sub set of employees apparently were retained to serve in various capacities. What criteria was used to make the determination as to whom would be retained?
4. Is there anything you’d like Hamiltonians to know about this decision?
In response, we received the following reply from Chris Fuoco, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Channel Zero.
We shared with the union this past Summer just how dire a financial situation that CHCH was in. The nature of bankruptcies is that they happen quite fast and we regret the impact that this decision had on employees. It was a difficult decision to restructure but the alternative was to go dark, terminate everyone and cease operations completely – and silence institution that has served Hamilton for over 60 years. We structured our approach to maximize, in the circumstances, what employees receive both from us and other government programs such as WEPPA (Wage Earner Protection Program Act). Of the 129 full time employees, 58 were offered positions with the new company. As of yesterday, all but 4 agreed to join the new company. We want to thank Hamiltonians for their patience and support during this difficult time.