Monson Trucking, based in Duluth, is shutting down operations for good by Aug. 31, putting 200 people out of work.
Many of its 100 employees in Duluth were told Wednesday in multiple meetings, said Michael Monson, one of the owners. They include truck drivers, mechanics, office staff and management.
“They looked pretty shocked,” said Monson, acknowledging it was a tough day for everybody.
A Monson truck driver, Michael Globe, was hauling freight to Canada when he heard the news Wednesday from a dispatcher.
“It was a surprise, a big surprise. I didn’t see it coming,” said Globe, a
22-year employee and union steward. “We knew we were slow, but we didn’t know they were going to shut down.”
The economic downturn, decline of the paper industry and the bankruptcy of two major customers — both Canadian paper mills — prompted the decision to close the 94-year-old, family-based trucking business, Monson said.
The decision was made this week, but had been considered for a long time because of lost revenue, including $500,000 in losses from the two Canadian paper mills, Monson said.
Company officials had looked at all options, including cutting back and more layoffs, he said.
“None of them were viable,” he said.
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