WINNIPEG — A group of laid-off employees of Winnipeg-based Ben Moss Jewellers is taking the company to the Manitoba Labour Board, alleging they were let go without severance or notice as the company shutters its 54 locations across Canada.
Vera Sime worked as an accountant at head office and says she had been assured her job would be safe until December to give her some time to look for work.
But Sime, 55, says the company cut off her pay the same day it gave her a termination letter, and that she wasn't offered a severance package.
Ben Moss advertises itself as "diamond experts since 1910" but entered creditor protection last May.
Neither Ben Moss nor the Manitoba Labour Board could be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, some customers of the company say they fear they will lose life-time warranties they were sold on their jewelry.
Karen D’Eon recently purchased two wedding bands from a Winnipeg Ben Moss store, but only days after picking up the rings, she learned the company is planning to close shop and that their warranty is in jeopardy.
Angele Taillefer bought the life-time service plan on five Ben Moss rings.
“I was informed that my lifetime warranty was void and when I asked about reimbursement they told me no," says Taillefer, who paid more than $300 for the warranties.
"Now if I lose one of the stones in my family ring I’m out of luck, I have to pay to get it replaced."
D’Eon says she would never have paid extra for the warranty, had she known she known the company was closing a week later.
"I was shocked there was nothing in that store showing that they were closing, nothing," she says.