Employees fired upon sale of Elm Street gas station


PITTSFIELD — The sale of an Elm Street gas station has left several people without jobs and raised questions about the future of one of the last full-service stations in the area.

Five employees were let go without notice Thursday when the station, which was sold at auction in April, formally changed hands.

"I found out today (through) the maintenance guy," said Adams resident Colin Moran, who had worked at the station for 16 years.

He said he was told by a representative of O'Connell Oil Associates, the station's previous owner, that he was being let go when the new owners officially took over the station at 1 p.m.

Moran and another full-time employee were let go, along with three part-timers, he said.

The new owners, who are from New York, purchased the station at auction on April 28. O'Connell recently conveyed 22 other Western Massachusetts sites that it owned in the Pittsfield and Springfield markets to Waltham-based Global Partners via long-term leases. The Elm Street station, which sold Shell fuel and includes a small garage, was one of six other O'Connell properties that were put up for auction.

A representative of the new ownership group who was at the station on Thursday declined to comment on the employees who had been let go or on the plans for the station.

Moran said he had called O'Connell several times after the auction with questions about his job status, but he never received a response.

"They wouldn't tell me a thing," he said. "Nothing until today."

Mark Sobon, senior vice president of O'Connell, said management was unable to provide an answer at the time because the closing date kept being delayed. He said O'Connell has gone "above and beyond" for its employees in the past.

Sobon also said he had been told that the employees who were let go did not want to work for the new owners.

"I'm sure I can re-apply with the new guys," Moran said, "but I didn't get the impression that it is somebody I would want to work for,"

Moran was disappointed at the way he lost his job.

"I know I wasn't doing brain surgery or anything but an employee is an employee and I thought I should have been given some explanation," he said.

"That was my farewell," he said. "It wasn't the best job in the world but I liked the people that I worked with and I liked the street and the customers who came through."


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