2009 -- H 5973

Enacted 03/12/09


H O U S E  R E S O L U T I O N




     Introduced By: Representatives DaSilva, Gallison, Dennigan, and Melo

     Date Introduced: March 11, 2009




     WHEREAS, The current economic crisis has placed a tremendous and growing burden

on Rhode Island residents; and

     WHEREAS, Given this crisis, employers and investors have a unique responsibility to

their employees and to the larger community of Rhode Island to follow the law and principles of

fair treatment in hard economic times; and

     WHEREAS, Founders Equity, a New York City based private equity firm was the

primary investor in the Colibri Group, a jewelry manufacturer with headquarters in East

Providence and plants in Providence and North Smithfield; and

     WHEREAS, Founders Equity requested state receivership of the Colibri Group on

January 14, 2009; and

     WHEREAS, On January 15, 2009 the company laid off its 280 employees, including 250

Rhode Island residents; and

     WHEREAS, Federal law requires 60 days notice in a major plant closing through the

WARN Act; and

     WHEREAS, Most of the employees were not informed of the company's closing until

they attempted to report to work the morning of January 15th; and

     WHEREAS, The majority of the employees had given ten or more years in service to the

Colibri Group, some even 20, and 30 or more years, helping to establish Rhode Island as the

national center of jewelry manufacturing; and

     WHEREAS, Employees were only granted compensation through January 15th with no

severance pay or benefits; now, therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That this House of Representative of the State of Rhode Island and

Providence Plantations hereby supports the 280 recently laid off former employees of the Colibri

Group and their efforts to receive 60 days pay and benefits due to them under the WARN Act, as

well as severance pay for their years in service to the company; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That the secretary of state be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon

Whitehouse, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Congressman James Langevin, Attorney Allan

Shine, Founders Equity Managing Partner John Teeger, and Greg Pehrson, Director of Fuerza