Abrupt Shutdown of Falcon Transport Idles 550

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Falcon Transport Co. told its 550 employees here that it is discontinuing operations and to stop work “immediately.”

Falcon, founded in 1903, is a transportation logistics company with flatbed and over-the-road services for clients including General Motors, Ford, Nexteer, Arcelor Mittal and U.S. Steel. It was purchased in 2017 by CounterPoint Capital Partners. The abrupt shutdown follows by less than two months the idling of the General Motors Lordstown Complex. Total fallout from that closing, just counting the 1,500 autoworkers remaining on the sole first shift, now is estimated at 6,000 lost jobs, according to economic development officials.

Falcon Transport’s director of operations, Jayson Calhoun, emailed employees the following message Saturday:

“We regret to inform you that Falcon Transport Co. is not able to continue operations and will be shutting down effective today.

“Please stop any work you are doing for the company immediately. You are not expected to return to work. Please be on the lookout for further information we will be sending regarding this information.”

It is unclear whether Falcon complied with the federal requirements under the Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act, which says companies employing more than 100 must give 60-day notice to its workers. As of this posting, such a notice was not published by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

In 2017, before the acquisition, the company was owned by the Constantini family, and that year its CEO, Don Constantini, gave Youngstown State University a $1 million gift to build a sports broadcasting center at Stambaugh Stadium.

Falcon director of operations Larry Long, at the time of the acquisition by Counterpoint, said the company was “thrilled” to continue its legacy as an Ohio-based carrier.

“I look forward to meeting personally with the industry’s best drivers to share our growth plans with them. Our new ownership team is already creating excitement amongst employees and drivers,” he said.

“All of us at CounterPoint are very aware of the century’s old legacy we have just become a part of,” CounterPoint managing partner Stephen Rossi said in a release at the time. “Falcon has an impressive history, an exceptional team of nearly 800 employees, and tremendous partnerships with its customers. We are excited to be supporting the business and are looking forward to Falcon’s continued growth and expansion.”

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, responded that the closing – and layoff of 550 employees – offered “another example” of how the economic system is rigged. He said he would reach out to the U.S. Department of Labor, the state of Ohio and local agencies to see what kind of assistance can be offered to workers

“It’s infuriating that this economy continues to gut working class wallets while management attempts to cut their way to prosperity. It’s short-sighted, it’s shameful, and it’s wrong,” he said. “The private equity firm that owns Falcon Trucking has left its drivers stranded all over the country, without explaining when or whether they will get their paychecks. These employees put in years of hard work and deserve to be treated like the hard-working Americans they are.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.