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Former Necco Workers File Lawsuit After Revere Plant Shuts Down Unexpectedly

REVERE (CBS) - Former workers at the historic Necco factory in Revere are suing. They claim the new owners acted illegally by laying everybody off without notice. The lawsuit comes just as the city of Revere is trying to help the former employees find new jobs.

They packed a meeting room at Revere City Hall Monday, Necco workers who abruptly lost their jobs last week. "I was very shocked, and I'm still shocked," says Gustavo Monteiro, who worked at Necco for eight years. That's because the former employees say they were blindsided by the shutdown. They knew the company was in trouble and had been sold to Round Hill Investors, but they thought they had another few months.

Necco Factory
Necco factory in Revere (WBZ-TV)

"They called us in and said, hey, as of three o'clock this afternoon Necco ceases operations. And we're all just sitting there, like, what happened?" says Dexter Main, who worked at the candy company for five years. Dexter Main and another Necco employee filed a class action lawsuit against the owners, claiming the workers weren't given the 60 day notice they're entitled to by law.

"What we allege in this complaint is that these employees weren't given that notice, and the operator and the owners of the facilities are required to pay them 60 days back pay," says the workers' attorney Nick Rosenberg.

"We believe that the way they did it was wrong and we want to correct that wrong. Do the right thing," says Main.

Necco Healey
Attorney General Maura Healey speaks with former Necco workers (WBZ-TV)

But to complicate things, Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo says the new owner has actually re-sold the factory to a company that hasn't been identified yet. "What happened on Tuesday was shameful. Unfortunately the fact is, big money investors came in, and didn't necessarily care about people," says Mayor Arrigo.

In the meantime, more than 200 people are out of work, so the city of Revere held a job fair for them today. About 30 companies have contacted the city, interested in connecting with the former Necco workers including Legal Sea Foods boss Roger Berkowitz. "We really need people. We need people who have a long track record, as these people who worked at Necco have," says Berkowitz.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey spoke with the laid off workers Monday. She says she's reviewing the legal issues involved in the shutdown. We reached out to the company that bought Necco out of bankruptcy to ask them about the new lawsuit, but they didn't respond.

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