BUSINESS

Shuttered Truland Electric may be forced into bankruptcy by electricians' union

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RESTON, Va. (WJLA) - Court documents provide a small glimpse into the finances of Reston-based electric company Truland, which suddenly shut down with no notice earlier this week.

Truland Electric in Reston, which employs hundreds, suddenly shut its doors with no notice Monday morning. (WJLA)

The electricians' union, Local 26, filed a forced Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in hopes of liquidating the company's assets to get more than $1 million it says Truland owes employees in back wages.

Days after the shutdown, the sting is still very much being felt by hundreds of employees, who were told in an email late Sunday night not to report to work the next morning.

Those that did show up were sent home. Those with company cars were told to take the cars home with them.

Employees like Ronnie Solomon were assured that they would be paid within a few days at most.

"We were supposed to be paid [Thursday] - our last paycheck," Solomon told ABC 7 News. "They didn't pay us. As a matter of fact, there are people who haven't been paid since two weeks ago."

Truland's major clients include Nationals Park and the NASA Data Center. In fact, employees were in the middle of working on upgrades to Metro's Orange Line when the company suddenly shuttered.

The company also had about 100 employees working on Inova Fairfax Hospital's latest project, as of last week - but an Inova employee told ABC 7 News Thursday that Truland workers were no longer on site, to their knowledge.

Meanwhile, at the union headquarters, out-of-work electricians are showing up, in hopes of finding employment.

"I don't know how they got in this mess," said longtime former Truland employee Roger Jacobus. "Nobody even explained anything to me. I never even got anything in the mail saying 'Thanks for the 16 years of service.'"

Jacobus continued, "I don't understand how a company of such magnitude can just call you in and say 'everybody, have a nice day, we are shutting the doors."

Some Truland employees say they worked a 16-hour day just last Saturday, and were expecting overtime pay.

"There are a lot of these guys who were single-income earners, who have families," Amy Solomon, the wife of a former Truland employee, told ABC 7 News. "I feel really bad for them, just trying to put food on the table and pay your mortgage and your basic bills. It's gonna be tough."

"We all have families to take care of, and this, you know, comes as a big shock to us," she added.

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