Rapid Response Session Informs Laid Off Workers 

”This is devastating to them and their families,” said Margaret Henry, District Manager for the US Railroad Retirement Board. The railway has laid off 50 workers in the state of Maine. That number comes from Montreal, Maine, & Atlantic Railway, Wednesday. “They’re very nervous and anxious about what their next step is and is anyone there to help them,” said Judy Pelletier, Program Manager of Rapid Response. Dozens of newly laid off workers came out to a Rapid Response meeting in Dover-Foxcroft to see what their options are. They declined to speak on camera for fear of not getting their jobs back”One of them mentioned I’ve been laid off temporary before, well I don’t think we saw the numbers that we saw this time or there’s just this uncertainty for them,” said Pelletier. MMA says the layoff is temporary, for two to four weeks. It comes after the train crash in Canada earlier this month. The railway company says they have no idea how long it will take to get the railway running again.”We offer services under rapid response to workers, any worker that’s laid off, whether it’s temporary or permanent just to make sure they know those next steps,” said Pelletier. Top concerns for workers were unemployment benefits and how they can afford health insurance. “We’re looking to pay them as long as we can, based on earnings from last year,” said Henry. Unemployment benefits will equal about half of most workers’ typical pay.