MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) - Workers at Michigan Steel in Muskegon and Rothbury Steel in Oceana County say checks from their employer are not being cashed by area banks. Troy Barnes can't find any bank that will accept two of his checks from Michigan Steel. One is for $248 and the other $155.
"Something has to get done because it is getting old," Barnes said.
Multiple employees, who asked to remain anonymous, say they fear the company will fire them if they speak publicly about the company's payroll problems. Barns said last week he was permanently laid off and just wants the money the company owes him so he can pay his bills.
"I had to pawn my $350 chainsaw for $80," Barnes said.
Michigan Steel's name and company logo are prominent on Barnes' checks, as is the name Huntington Bank. Barnes says clerks at the bank told him Michigan Steel's accounts are empty.
"Everyday the last two weeks, no money, no money, no money," said Barnes.
The problem is impacting local stores that offer customers check cashing services. Louie Khamro is the manager at the Frontier Mart. Khamaro says he was stuck with thousands of dollars worth of bad checks from Michigan Steel. But recently he met with company leaders to get the checks cashed.
"They take care of me." he says. Now the store will no longer cash the company's checks, "I tell them, I am sorry I can not do no checks for this moment... [until] we can find out what's going to happen."
WZZM 13 contacted Michigan Steel for comment and management declined.