With all the recent news of workers for Carrier Corp., Walmart and other companies who'll be losing their jobs, the latest questions come from our own waterfront. With the arrest of Carlos Rafael, the owner of Carlos Seafood Inc., one of the Northeast's biggest commercial fishing entrepreneurs, charged with falsifying federal documents, an uncertain question arises: will local, hard working employees lose their jobs? Couple that with all the other ancillary services that are connected to a seafood processing plant, and we could be talking about a lot of vulnerable workers!

I'm not jumping the gun here, but if you were in this situation, you'd be thinking the same. Today, it's only an if. If the company closes, is there a plan to help out these local workers? Does the company have a severance package? Who will be negotiating a good deal for the workers? They'll need to sign up for unemployment benefits, but will that be enough to live on? What about health insurance? Are there any city and federal benefits available? I know Mayor Jon Mitchell has already indicated that if the city can help out, it will. If their income is low enough, maybe there's tax credits?

Finding a new job can be a tough thing. I am certain the Greater New Bedford Career Center has this situation front and foremost on their radar screen.

You see, there are lots of questions and there are so many people and issues involved with a bust like this. I hope and pray that if there is a closure, the workers don't get cheated out of anything!

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