With only seven percent of its original workforce still in place, Ameri-Tech Building Systems laid off approximately 15 workers Tuesday evening.


With only seven percent of its original workforce still in place, Ameri-Tech Building Systems laid off approximately 15 workers Tuesday evening.
The workers, many of whom had been with the company for several years, will not be receiving their accrued vacation pay, according to one employee.
The employee, who wished to remain unnamed for fear of retribution, said he received notification of his layoff July 14, to be effective immediately, and was told at that time he would not be receiving his vacation pay.
“I am still owed three days of vacation pay, but according to the office employee, I am not going to get it,” said the employee.
Ameri-Tech began laying off employees in January when the company cut its  workforce by 50 percent.
“We regret having to layoff any employees at this time," said Ameri-Tech CEO Jim Donnan at the time. "Due to the state of the economy we are hoping that the layoffs will decrease our overhead and allow us to work on a smaller scale.”
Prior to the layoffs in January, Donnan said that the Leesville plant employed around 200 people.
Two employees who contacted the Leesville Daily Leader both said that during the past seven months the company has quelled rumors of more layoffs. 
“I asked the plant manager, Scott Wade, if I was going to be laid off and he told me "no" that business was going to continue,” said one of the employees.
Another employee, laid off in June, received a letter promising to be paid unused vacation time. 
"Any unused vacation time will be included in your final paycheck which can be picked up at the HR/Payroll office after 2 p.m. Friday,” said the letter, which is dated June 24.
Employees were also encouraged to apply for unemployment benefits with the  Louisiana Department of Labor, but to let the Department of Labor know that they (employees) would be receiving their vacation pay.
“The vacation pay was not on our last check,” said the second employee. “At first they told us that the checks had been cut separate from our salary and they must have forgotten to mail them ... But four weeks later we are being told that the decision to pay us for our vacation has not been made.”
Because more salary, in the form of vacation pay, may still be forthcoming from Ameri-Tech, many employees have been unable to receive unemployment. After speaking with a case worker at the Louisiana Department of Labor employees were told to have Ameri-Tech draft a letter explaining the vacation pay situation.
More than a week after asking for such a letter and being assured by Ameri-Tech that it would be provided, the employee has yet to receive the it.
“At this point I don’t care about the vacation pay, but I need my unemployment payments,” the employee said.
“If they were trying to make an effort to try and clear things up, it would be one thing, but it feels like we are just getting the run-around. There are employees who are single parents and they need their unemployment, which they have paid into,” continued the employee.
Both of the employees spoke of how they would like to return to work at Ameri-Tech because they enjoyed their jobs, but they were also disappointed in the treatment they have received since being laid off.
“They just need to make it right, so we can draw our benefits,” said the employee.
Calls to Ameri-Tech Building Systems were not returned.