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Ethan Allen’s closure hits Main Street

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by Meghan Wayland

ORLEANS — Ethan Allen publicly announced April 1 it would be shutting is doors in compliance with national efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Nine days later, James Stone was laid off.

Mr. Stone kept the boilers running at the factory for nine years.

“I think it was April 10 I got laid off,” he said.  “I got to stay on a week longer than everyone else because someone had to keep the plant running.”

Mr. Stone never thought he’d be furloughed.  As a heavy equipment operator for the factory, he spent his workday alone, in the cab of a bucket loader.

“I’m already in quarantine at work.  I never once thought I wouldn’t keep my job.

“They told me the day before.  No reason to mince words, it was sudden. You could see it bothered the guys to do it, but their hands were tied.”

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