Lynne Gobbell says she has a new job.
She says she was fired from her old job on September 9 because her boss demanded that she take a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker off her car.
She says her boss, Phil Geddes of Enviromate, in Moulton, Alabama, told the plant manager to tell her, "I could either work for him or John Kerry."
Well, now she is working for John Kerry, she says.
The Senator actually called her up himself late on the afternoon of September 14 and offered her the still-unspecified job, she tells The Progressive.
"He was telling me how proud of me he was for standing up to my boss, and how he had read what my boss had said. And Senator Kerry told me, 'Have him know from today that you're working for me. You're hired.' "
She accepted the offer, she says.
(Geddes did not respond to a phone call or e-mail late Tuesday afternoon. Neither did the Kerry campaign.)
Gobbell, 41, ran the bagging machine at Enviromate for about two years, she says.
The story of Gobbell's firing first appeared in the Decatur Daily on September 12.
It reported her account that Geddes had put a flier in employees' envelopes that lauded the Bush tax cut. Here's what the flier said, according to the paper: "Just so you will know, because of the Bush tax (cut): "I was able to buy the new Hammer Mill.
"I was able to finance our receivables.
"I was able to get the new CAT skid steer.
"I was able to get the wire cutter.
"I was able to give you a job."
And it also said, "You got the benefit of the Bush tax cut. Everyone did."
Gobbell realized she was in trouble on the morning of September 9, she says. "The first time I found out something was wrong was right after first break when we were going back to work," she tells The Progressive. "The plant production manager told me, 'Phil says take that sticker off your car, or you're fired.' "
"I told him, 'Phil can't tell me who to vote for.' "
The plant manager, Dennis Cantrell, told Gobbell to go tell him that herself, she says.
"So I go in there and I said, 'Phil, did you tell me to take that sticker off my car?'
"He said, 'I sure did.'
"I told him, 'You can't tell me who to vote for.'
"He said, 'I own this place.'
"And then I told him he still couldn't tell me who to vote for. And he told me to get out.
"And I asked him, 'Am I fired?'
"And he said, 'I'm thinking about it.'
"And I asked him again, and he hollered, 'Get out, and shut the door.' "
Gobbell says she asked plant manager Cantrell whether she should leave or go back to work. And he told her to go back to work, she recalls.
"I hadn't been there a minute when Cantrell came back and said, 'I reckon you're fired.' Phil told him to tell me that I could either work for him or John Kerry."
How did she react?
"I took my gloves off and threw them in the garbage can and took my purse and left," she tells The Progressive. "I really couldn't believe it."
After the Decatur Daily story appeared, and AP got a hold of it, "my plant manager Cantrell called me at home and talked to me a little bit. He said they were trying to work things out," she says. " They were getting calls, and they were trying to settle it down, and they were wondering what it would take for me to just drop it, move it over."
Gobbell says she was supposed to go in on the morning of September 14 to talk with Geddes and his lawyer.
"They were going to offer me an apology and my job back," she says.
But then she says she got a call telling her, "Mr. Phil wasn't going to be there and the lawyer wasn't going to be there, and I was going to talk to a mediator," she says. "When I got in there, they were just offering me the same thing, an apology and my job back. And they didn't mention no back pay or guarantee my job. And all I told them is I'd get back to them. I've got a lawyer looking into it."
Later that day, the phone rang again. This time, she says, it was Senator Kerry.
Addendum: The Kerry campaign confirms that the Senator did personally offer Lynne Gobbell a job on September 14.
Copyright 2004 The Progressive