QVC laying off nearly 2,000 Rocky Mount workers after fire

Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 12:12 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2022 at 1:34 PM EST
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ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WITN) - A plant that was hit by a massive fire last month will shut down, impacting nearly 2,000 employees.

QVC has told state officials that it will close its distribution center in Rocky Mount. A state WARN notice lists the closure as permanent.

The 1.5-million-square-foot facility off U.S. 64 was heavily damaged by fire back on December 18th, killing 21-year-old Kevon Rick, an employee.

In a letter to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, QVC said 1,953 people work at the center. It says employees will start to be laid off beginning February 1st.

“This closure was caused by a tragic fire that started in the early morning of December 18, 2021. The company is still assessing the extent of the damage, but it is clear that the site will not be operable and there will not be work for the team for the foreseeable future,” QVC told state officials.

QVC says they still haven’t made any long-term decisions about the site, but know the building will be closed for an extended period of time.

The following benefits have been extended to QVC employees:

  • Extended shutdown pay for Rocky Mount team members through February 1, 2022 (a small number may have extended transition schedules, depending on departmental needs).
  • After February 1, applicable separation benefits will begin for impacted team members.
  • All team members will be eligible to receive at least four weeks of separation pay or a lump sum equivalent.
  • Team members enrolled in one of our benefits plans will have continued coverage until the end of February and then would be eligible for COBRA coverage.
  • Career transition services to impacted team members, including potential internal roles with the company in other locations as well as partnerships through local organizations for additional job opportunities, financial education, interview training, resume writing support, and job search training.

The company said workers will be eligible to seek employment at other QVC locations around the country.

Edgecombe County authorities are working with the SBI, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on the investigation.

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