FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The bankruptcy filing and shutdown of Consolidated Freightways this week means the loss of 23 jobs in Alaska and a scramble among remaining freight companies for the customers left behind.
Eighteen jobs will be lost in Anchorage and five in Fairbanks, company officials said.
In Fairbanks, terminal manager David Lean was the only employee in the office Tuesday. He will work a couple more weeks coordinating the transport of shipments still en route.
''The staff is very skilled and they will find jobs, but it will take awhile,'' Lean said. He noted that all the company's drivers were Teamsters and the former Consolidated employees may have trouble finding jobs that pay as well as union wages.
''The company was unable to make a profit in 1 1/2 years, that was public knowledge,'' he said of the shipper's financial situation.
Kathy Lorec, vice president of Span-Alaska Consolidators Inc., described Consolidated as an ''icon'' among shippers but was not surprised by its closing. Aside from the job losses, Lorec is confident other freight companies will be able to step in and meet the shipping demands of local businesses.
''In Alaska there are quite a few competitors to Consolidated Freightways,'' Lorec said. ''We can handle an increase in business, and we see this as an opportunity to grow.''
Lorec said Consolidated's former customers were probably meeting with other shippers on Tuesday and trying to find out where their freight is and how it will be delivered.
Lean, at the defunct carriers' Fairbanks terminal, spent time with customers on Tuesday.
''The whole goal is to make sure customers get what they need so they are not inconvenienced more than circumstances demand,'' Lean said.
Becoming a Peacemaker Open Space Conference
Invitation: The Center for Mediation and Community Dialogue in cooperation with the Alaska Dispute Settlement Association will host an open space conference entitled Becoming a Peacemaker this Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 7 and 8) from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, at Skyview High School.
In the spirit of learning from September 11, the conference will be a time to connect our interactions globally with what happens in our homes, work places, and communities. Parallel conferences will be held in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Any issue - local, regional, or global - may be brought to the table. Teachers, students, administrators, parents, people working in the business, government and non-profit sectors - all are invited to bring issues about which they feel passion and responsibility. Be prepared to be surprised. Open space conferences are fertile places.
Participants should bring their own sack lunches, and, if convenient, a potluck snack to share with others. There is no charge to attend. For more information, see www.adsa.ws, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 283-9227.
Center for Mediation and Community Dialogue
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