My fellow handlers,
Tomorrow will mark one week since our fellow handler, Seamus Fennessy, surrendered his partner Mattie to MSA. Since then, there has been an outpouring of support for Seamus and his family. On Friday afternoon, Senator Sam Thompson of New Jersey's 12th District wrote a letter to Mike O'Neil and Glen Kucera in support of Seamus. You can find the news story regarding the letter and comments from Senator Thompson here. He has yet to receive a response.
We've also received confirmation that Senator Thompson has reached out to Governor Phil Murphy's office, briefed them on the situation, and discussed possible actions this afternoon. Senator Bob Menendez, a staunch supporter of animal rights, has also been in contact with the Fennessy family and has conveyed that they "have his office's full attention."
It would seem that all eyes are on the third floor of 9 Murray Street. As of now, there is silence, yet the walls continue to close in. With growing interest from the public, MSA can not continue to claim that their policies are top secret. We all know these policies simply don't exist. Policies are created and forgotten on a daily basis and the handlers in the field are never informed. If MSA is worried their policies could incriminate the company, perhaps they should develop policies that don't result in public outcry. Business as usual unfortunately. It's the same business as usual that has cost MSA over $15 million in legal settlements, the same business as usual that results in a 30% turnover rate every year, and the same business as usual that has tarnished MSA's once legendary reputation.
Glen, we have a challenge for you. If you truly want to fix this, do not surround yourself with the same yes men that were the cause of all these problems in the first place. These are the same people that claimed they didn't have to pay us overtime, the same people that claimed they were in compliance with the SCA, and the same people who have ruined our relationships with the clients. Talk to the handlers who are reservists, get their opinion on the matter, then develop a policy that proves MSA is as military friendly as it claims. You could even go one step further and sit down with us and discuss a plan that would apply to all handlers and their partners if they choose to leave MSA. Better yet, work with us to make MSA a company that handlers won't want to leave in the first place.
No matter what, do not rely on business as usual this time. Do the right thing, reach out to Seamus and his family, and make this right.
In other news, a settlement agreement is close to being reached. The January 16th letter sent to Judge Gorenstein by all parties expressed hope that we will have a final settlement agreement within the next week. Updates will be posted as they happen.