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Monday, September 5, 2011

Stark Warns Solyndra Execs to Compensate Laid Off Workers

Sept. 5, 2011| Rep. Pete Stark warned the president of Solyndra to continue paying compensation and benefits to the over 1,100 employees laid off last week over risk federal scrutiny.

Stark called the hastily announced move by Solyndra Aug. 31 to file for bankruptcy protection "reckless, irresponsible and heartless."

"It may also be illegal," said Stark. "I urge Solyndra's leaders to quickly revisit their decision and do right by their employees."

The East Bay congressman, who represents Fremont, made reference to a federal law requiring companies with over 100 full-time employees to give at least 60 days notice before plant closings and mass layoffs. The law was created to allow time for workers to seek other employment before losing compensation and benefits.

Although, Stark anticipates management at Solyndra will attempt to procure an exemption written into the law, he was stern in rebuking them for their motives in quickly filing bankruptcy. "I don’t think it takes a well-skilled attorney to surmise that Solyndra executives knew before Wednesday morning that the plant would be shut down'" said Stark.

Solyndra shocked many last week when it announced layoffs for over 1,100 high-skilled workers at the Fremont solar plant. News of the layoffs renewed the resolve of critics who say the $535 million federal loan guarantee given to Solyndra just two years ago was flawed from its inception.

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