Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The reason behind the Mayor's precipitous concern about Ontario's laid off IQT workers?

Mayor Karl Dean received a letter from Ontario's Minister of Labour that we have not heard anything about here in Nashville:

To his credit Labour Minister Charles Sousa is tackling the problem from a couple of angles. The ministry is investigating IQT’s shutdown as a priority and it is helping hundreds of workers file claims with the ministry for unpaid wages.

At the same time, Sousa has kicked up a fuss in Nashville, Tennessee, where the company had planned to collect $1.6 million in city incentives to open a call centre there. “It is important for all governments to send a clear and strong message to companies . . . that we expect compliance with legal obligations,” he wrote in a letter to Nashville’s mayor. He specifically mentioned unpaid wages, severance and other issues.

Sousa also told Mayor Dean that he intends to make sure that the rights of workers unpaid for their labor are protected. At least somebody has kicked up a fuss with the Mayor's Office. It has generally been no fuss, no muss for Karl Dean's first term.

Dude. Sousa is member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. I cannot even imagine a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce advocating compliance and worker rights. I bet it threw Hizzoner off his game.


  1. Dean's lack of due-diligence may come around to bite him in the ass.

    Even though any claims from Sousa may be off base, what Dean did when he jumped on the IQT deal without first digging a little deeper is pretty much like sleeping with a woman you just met (who turns out to be crazy).

    Oh, well.

  2. There is a chance, that Nashville could be legally obligated to pay the $1.6 million.

    If not more.

    We do not know the details of the deal(if any) with IQT.

    It could be, they have hood-winked Dean to some degree. Perhaps IQT needed money and this entire Nashville move was a ploy to land some much-needed cash. Things like this happen all the time (companies borrowing on dreams, though convinced they can pay it back at some point).

    Some agreements could have been entered into by our city and IQT, that we are not aware of.

    With IQT being U.S. based, the situation become more complicated.

    It's not so much U.S. versus Canadian law, but New York state (where I think IQT was based) versus Tennessee law. In this instance, Ontario and the laid-off employees would be party to any agreements that were made by our city officials.

    If indeed any promises were made by the Dean administration to IQT, things could become very sticky.

    I am not an attorney, but I am familiar enough with "deals" to know that things can get nasty.

    I just hope the city administration has covered its rear-end.

    When you throw in international law and some bad promises, that $1.6 million could pale in regards to the lawyer fees should a suit enter the courts.

    I have to agree with what Enclave and other local media have said regarding the lack of due-diligence in this instance.

    The consequences can be severe.