Kimberly Papermakers is the only company in the country that makes its machines in a factory, but that’s not how it is for the workers who work in its plants.
Kimberly Paper, which makes the paper products for the National Enquirer and The New York Times, has been closed since April of last year after more than a decade of operations in South Carolina.
Workers say they were treated with little respect and were told that if they spoke up, they were fired, according to a local newspaper, The Washington Post.
When The Post reported the allegations, the company issued a statement that said the workers had been terminated without cause, citing “a number of serious safety concerns.”
Workers say the company had been running a safety program, which included monitoring the condition of workers and the safety of its customers.
The company says it’s been working to address those concerns and that it will reopen the plant.
However, workers say they have never been treated with any respect by the company.
“They were told they had to be there and be ready to do it,” said John Brown, who works at Kimberly Paper’s plant in Gaffney, South Carolina, where the company also makes its paper products.
“I’m not here to get sympathy.
I’m here to go home.
I just want to go back to work.”
Kimberly Paper made headlines in 2017 when the company said it would close its entire South Carolina manufacturing facility.
In February, the state’s largest newspaper, the Charleston Daily Mail, reported that workers who complained about working conditions were fired without cause.
At the time, the paper reported that the workers were forced to wear masks to protect themselves from the elements and were not allowed to use the restroom while they worked.
“We have been working very hard to fix the problems we have with our employees, and it is not easy,” Kimberly Paper CEO Ken O’Neill told the paper.
“The workers are treated with great dignity and respect and the company is doing everything it can to improve safety.”
Kimberly said in a statement to The Washington News that it was notifying workers that they were being terminated without the proper cause.
“In order to ensure that we will continue to treat our employees with the highest level of respect, we are continuing to make changes in our workplace practices and policies,” the statement read.
The workers said they were not given any notice of the termination or a reason for why they were no longer employed.
“It’s a terrible feeling,” said worker Brian Hough, who was employed for two years and said he has worked there for 14 years.
“This is not the way I wanted to be treated.
This is a horrible thing.”
“We had been given notice,” said one worker who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“But we had not received any information about the reasons or the termination,” the worker said.
“No one gave us any information, and they did not provide us with any notice, either.”
In response to the allegations against the company, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and Consumer Protection issued a report to the state legislature on May 2.
It found that “a wide variety of worker complaints” were made about the company’s safety record, including the lack of a written policy on health and safety, the lack and use of medical devices, and the lack or use of adequate medical training.
The report found that the company failed to adequately train workers on workplace safety and had a “failure to follow the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”
The department found that Kimberly Paper “continues to have a serious safety problem.”
According to the department, Kimberly Paper had “no clear, measurable performance measures to measure the safety and effectiveness of its work force, and failed to establish a policy for the continuous monitoring and control of workplace safety,” and “did not ensure its workforce had adequate training.”
“There are significant safety and health concerns surrounding the operation of Kimberly Paper manufacturing facilities,” the department wrote.
“Workers who have been terminated at the company have complained about being physically restrained, denied restroom breaks, and being subject to repeated intimidation.
These actions have not been taken seriously and were considered to be acts of retaliation by the business.”
The company said in an emailed statement that the report was based on the “unfair and inaccurate portrayal” of the company and “has been widely circulated.”
“The false information in this report is based on misleading information and incomplete information,” the company wrote.
It continued, “The company is committed to improving the safety practices of its employees, suppliers, customers, and employees.
We will continue working diligently to address these issues.”
The state has set up a task force to investigate the alleged misconduct and said it will present its findings to the company by March 31.
It also said it is holding a public hearing on the company in June.
Kimberly has not responded to a request for comment.