Company abruptly closes; hundreds affected

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. (WTNH) — After 15 years on the job, there was no handshake or slap on the back for Emanuele Lombardo.

“I’m angry, but what are you going to do, it’s out of our hands,” he said.

On Thursday, Lombardo’s longtime employer, ClearEdge Power, abruptly closed. He carried out the contents of his locker in a trash bag then headed next door to Reds Tavern to join some of the nearly 400 others who used to work at the facility.

“It’s a good group,” said Gary O’Connell. “Been here for a long time, we get together all the time, the salaried and hourly, It’s been a great place to work.”

As word started spreading this morning that the plant was closed, the bartender at Reds came in early to take care of his customers for what could be the last time.

“Our clientele is going to diminish a little if not a lot,” said Ken Houle. “We have a lot of guys coming in for meals, lunch and dinner.”

South Windsor’s town manager believes the company is going into chapter 11 bankruptcy. Right now the employees say they are surprised; they had no notice, no warning, the doors just closed. They had to come in and get their belongings, they are not even sure they are getting paid.

“We go from seven days a week, crazy hours, to no work at all,” said Ahmed Akil, who added that he’s not even sure employees are getting paid for work this week.

They don’t know if they are going to get a severance package, or even paid their unused vacation – all they know is one minute management is talking about big contracts overseas, then the next minute – they close.

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