On Friday, October 16th, Patricia, Lee, Andrew, and C met with two executives from Lorig Associates–Tom Fitzsimmons (who had received our initial demand letter) and Alison Lorig (Bruce’s daughter).
Fitzsimmons had called to schedule a meeting directly after we picketed a Newcastle, WA city council meeting.
As expected, this conflict was not settled at the meeting. But one thing was settled – Tom Fitzsimmons and Lorig Associates are snakes. Tom first insisted that he wanted to “understand the situation from Patricia’s perspective” before discussing a possible settlement, and then he started questioning her. This seemed to be a ploy to get Patricia to say things that could be damaging to herself. After stepping out of the room to talk it over, we went back in and Patricia briefly told her story, sticking to the facts and not allowing Tom to be the interrogator. After she finished, we tried to move the discussion to talk of a settlement, but Tom insisted we hear their side of the story from Alison. We stared at her as she shakily delivered a corporate PR statement. Patricia corrected some of the most obvious inaccuracies along the way.
Tom restated what he had said over the phone, that Lorig would not be willing to pay the full year’s salary, as we had initially demanded, but that he understood Patricia was willing to negotiate. He then took on a slightly demented look.
Tom: “Lorig is a compassionate company!” He pointed at Patricia. “You stole four thousand dollars from the company! You stole it. You misused a credit card….We could have charged her with a felony… I’m only trying to get the point out about our compassion. We care about you…”
Patricia: “That’s bullshit.”
Tom: “So, our compassion that was behind that, is here today.”
Patricia: “So our next point is?”
Tom: “We’re offering you two thousand five hundred dollars to support training for you, to upgrade your skills or to sharpen your skills, and to help you get into the workplace.”
He was a lot like this:
Needless to say, at that point we stood up and left. The offer was paternalistic and insulting, especially combined with Tom’s attempt to bully Patricia with an outrageous (and false) accusation of theft.
Patricia and the rest of us left the building feeling more motivated than ever to keep getting out there and fighting these disgusting corporate slimebags. Actions are ongoing. Get in touch to join the effort!