14 February 2013

LG Chem Plant Workers Still Have No Work

Story first appeared on WoodTV.com -

Though a federal audit sparked by a Target 8 investigation got taxpayers some of their money back from LG Chem, there's still not much work to do at the Holland plant.

An October 2012 Target 8 investigation revealed that employees at LG Chem were playing board games and volunteering while on the clock and sparked a federal audit. Following the audit, it was announced Tuesday that LG Chem has repaid $842,000 in taxpayer money, admitting it misspent some of the millions received from the federal government. 
Current and former LG Chem employees Wednesday told Target 8 they now spend every day cleaning: Cleaning a nearly new building that doesn't produce anything for sale.

"We regret this situation occurred, and we are confident that we are now taking every measure to be fully compliant in our use of the project grant funding," LG Chem said in a Wednesday statement. "LG Chem Michigan has also established internal safeguards to prevent this from happening again."

But employees say they spend most of their day cleaning things that are "already clean because there is nothing else to do."

No one wanted to speak on camera for fear of losing their job. But off camera, employees said all the production equipment is in storage.

Nothing has been produced for sale and there is no word on when production will start up again.

Overall -- little has changed since Target 8's first investigation.

"We were given assignments to go outside and clean; if we weren't cleaning outside, we were cleaning inside. If there was nothing for us to do, we would study in the cafeteria, or we would sit and play cards, sit and read magazines," former LG Chem employee Nicole Merryman, who said she quit in May 2012, told Target 8 in October.

Employees confirmed to Target 8 that they are no longer allowed to play games or volunteer.

Some say many of the employees left other jobs to work at LG Chem. They are worried if production doesn't start soon, they will be unemployed.

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