Wednesday, September 11, 2013


At the informal Common Council meeting on Monday, Council president Don Moore shared an email from John Demler, a production supervisor at Flanders. The email was an invitation, sent to the mayor and copied to all the members of the Common Council, to a barbecue to celebrate Flanders' two-year anniversary in Hudson (Greenport, actually). In his invitation, Demler boasts that "Flanders is alive and well in Hudson with over 250 employees and we are continuing to hire and grow."

Reading this statement, one is reminded of the story of one of Flanders' 250 employees, which appeared in the news recently. On June 2, the Register-Star reported that Mohammed Rahman, who shared a three-room apartment at 405 Warren Street, which had been seized by the City for nonpayment of taxes, was one of the tenants facing imminent eviction. Rahman was having a hard time finding a new apartment, it was explained, "as he works at Flanders from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m."

On August 23, the Register-Star reported on the eviction of the last two tenants at 405 Warren Street. Rahman, or one of his coworkers at Flanders, was one of them:
Eventually, a short, thin man of about 40 appeared with a two-wheeled wire cart and two laundry baskets, filled with his belongings, as well as two pots containing rice and stew. The man appealed to Ellsworth for another day in his apartment, but the officer told him that was not in his power.
The distraught tenant, who is from Bangladesh, said he does not speak English, but had enough language to communicate that he works at Flanders, that he had tried to find other housing but available apartments were too expensive for his budget and that he didn't know where he was going to live.
He said he had been paying $250 a month at 405 Warren up until a month ago.

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