Danville Man Says He Is Stuck In Mexico After Losing His Job
By Whitney Delbridge
Aguas Calientes, Mexico - A Danville couple says they are stuck in Mexico and it will cost more than $20,000 for them to get back to the U.S.In 2007, James and Kelly Wells traded their home on Finch Drive in Danville for Aguas Calientes, Mexico. James, a senior dye technician at Shorewood accepted the chance to relocate after a year-long training visit."The weather here is great, the food here is great. We were pretty content, " James Wells said, but it wouldn't last forever.In 2013, AGI-Shorewood sold some of their operations to rival packaging company Amcor - including the Danville plant and part of the one in Mexico.Wells says they told him he would be offered a severance, but he's never received it."They paid me nothing the day they walked me out the door. They didn't even give me the pay that I had coming, " said Wells.In addition, Wells believes the company should pay for his move back to the United States - which he had been planning for after retirement.Attorney Hunter Byrnes says there is no federal law that says a US company must pay for relocation expenses after an employee has been terminated."It is not the norm. It's not to be expected, " Byrnes said.Wells' contract was negotiated under Mexican law, which Byrnes says can be a whole different ballgame."Dealing with international companies involve a lot of logistics and a lot of confusing issues for the average employee, " said Byrnes.Wells is currently in litigation to get his last paycheck and severance, but he hopes others don't find themselves in his shoes. "Hindsight is 20/20. My advice is to get it in writing that if they terminate you, they will send you back home, " Wells said.AGI-Shorewood declined to comment on the issue. Wells says, his situation is only made worse by a liver transplant he had a year ago. He says losing his job and health insurance has made purchasing his medications very difficult.
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