ST. ALBANS – Employees at local Vermont gas station chain Maplefields were thrilled this week when owner Skip Vallee announced that, due to the large tax breaks he is receiving from the new federal tax bill, all wages would be doubled, effectively immediately. Many workers saw a bump of $10-$12/hour, raising their wages to point where they could almost afford an apartment in Burlington. Vallee was quoted as saying that he always tries to pass on his good fortune to his workers whenever possible.
The wage increase was well-received by the employees, however they were not as happy when they arrived to work on Friday morning to find that all Maplefields stores are now closed. Signs hung at every location announced the store closings, and now hundreds of Vermonters who worked at the over 40 locations are suddenly out of a job. Vallee apologized via press release, saying that due to the new federal tax bill he could no longer afford to continue operations. This simply follows the leads of larger companies this week such as Walmart, Comcast, and AT&T. He was quoted as saying that he always tries to pass on his bad fortune to his workers whenever possible.
Although all Maplefields are now closed, Vallee will continue to operate the Switchyard Mobil gas station in St. Albans, where he plans on running the place himself at a salary of $421/hour. He claims that it is more efficient for his business to raise both wages and cut staff, and that he expects to receive a large tax rebate this April which he promises to re-invest back into his one remaining employee, himself.