Cindy C.

Lebanon, OR

I worked for Hughes Aircraft in California from 1973 to 1995.  Hughes Aircraft decided to move manufacturing of computer chips to Arizona..  They got huge bribes to do their move.   The federal government gave them, along with other defense industry fortune 500 companies millions of dollars to consolidate their manufacturing.  Arizona gave Hughes Aircraft a ten year pass on paying taxes to move from Calif to Arizona as long as Hughes Aircraft agreed to lay off their Calif workers and hire Arizona workers from Arizona unemployment roles.  So, Hughes Aircraft layed off 60,000+ workers in Calif and cancelled our retirements.   Because I was 49  yrs old they (Hughes Aircraft) told me I was under 50yrs old so they could cancel my retirement and I could go  find work somewhere else after 22+ yrs with them.  A lot of lives were just tossed to the ditch during that time at Hughes Aircraft and a lot of other defense industry fortune 500 companies in Calif, including mine.  I was a professional database system engineer.     At 49 I was tossed out of a job so someone in Az could have one and Hughes could make money off me without a skip of a heartless beep.   I and others had served to be another money maker for the company coffers with no thought of what value we were to their business.  Since then I started working for the State of Texas for a few years and now for the State of Oregon.  I am 64 and trying desparately to work long enough to earn a retirement. In Oregon we have contracted with the state over the last 10 years to defer salary compensation in order to keep retirement and medical benefits.  We are currently in bargaining for the next bi-yearly state contract and the state last offered what amounted to a 25% pay cut and loss of some state paid medical premiums.  I personnaly knew people at Hughes Aircraft who killed themselves , one who killed the Human Resources person who layed him off, and another person who had a mental collapse from which as far as I heard.... he did not recover.    This is my 49th year of working (started when I graduated from high school at 16 yrs old).  I have always produced beyond what the employers asked of me (I have always gotten great yearly employee reviews).  I got awards ($500 once at Hughes Aircraft) for designing improved productivity procedures.  After 49 years of straight full time working I am once again feeling like I have beg on bended knee for the employer to keep their word with me, for my work that we agreed to for my work.  I started over in life at 49 years old.  I don't have a prayer to be able to start over at 64 years old.Fear of having no retirement income is huge for me.   I saved money all those years in a Hughes Aircraft 401K which was wiped out in the recent stock market crash.   Now the Oregon St wants me to agree to a 25% pay decrease to keep a retirement plan.   How am I supposed to do that?