Burger King workers left holding the bag

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 16, 2002

The first clue David Rentz got that he no longer had a job came when the delivery truck failed to show up.

For the last six or seven months, Rentz, 23, has been working at the Burger King on Dallas Avenue. He came to work as usual Saturday.

The truck never showed.

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Then they got a call from the Burger King on Highland Avenue and another from the Burger King in Centerville. The truck hadn’t shown up there, either.

By then, the pieces were beginning to fall into place.

According to Darrie Pettway, who has worked at the Dallas Avenue restaurant since it opened, the final piece fell with a decisive thump.

The two Burger King restaurants here in Selma and the one in Centerville are owned by Wiley Ingram. They are among a number of Burger King restaurants in Alabama that have closed in recent days.

Tiawan Johnson, a manager at the Dallas Avenue restaurant, says 25 employees were affected by the closing at that store alone.

Like the others, Johnson said he didn’t learn about the closing until Saturday, when Barry Ingram, Wiley Ingram’s son, told him.

That came as news to Rentz and his fellow employees.

The employees at the Dallas Avenue restaurant are also concerned that they were due to receive their regular paycheck today for the last two weeks. Now they’re not even sure whether they can count on receiving that check.

But, some employees confide, it’s beginning to look doubtful. Repeated calls from worried employees to Wiley and Barry Ingram have gone unreturned.