School uniform company abruptly closes, almost 100 employees in the lurch

Parker School Uniforms has been a leader in providing uniforms to thousands of students throughout the U.S. since 1931, according to the company’s website.

Antonio Johnson has been a forklift operator for the company over the last year.

“We came back from out of town on vacation the first of the year and don’t have a job,” said Johnson. “We got a text message from Parker School Uniforms and that’s how we learned we don’t have a job.”

Johnson isn’t the only employee who feels blindsided.

“Very blindsided to find out from other employees,” said Demetrias Black.

Employees says the company closed down several of its Houston-area locations in December.

“They didn’t make us feel like we were losing our jobs,” said Johnson. “It made me think we were OK, they were just cutting back on things.”

In an e-mail employees shared with FOX 26 News, Parker School Uniforms admits it was not forthcoming to its staff.

If Parker had provided earlier notice, it would have undermined its efforts to obtain additional outside capital due to potential investor concerns about doing business with a troubled company or a company whose employees were looking for other jobs.

That e-mail goes on to say:

We are permanently shutting down all of our operations including the entire corporate headquarters and terminating all employees.

A woman, who told FOX 26 that she’s in charge of human resources but not a Parker employee, initially said that employees will get their final checks on Friday. She denied that some employees were fired by text messages but wouldn’t say how they got the ax, explaining that she wasn’t with the company and wasn’t going to speak to FOX 26.

A man who let her into the locked corporate office told FOX 26, “No comment”

Mike Porter, the chief executive officer of the company, has yet to return phone calls from FOX 26.