"Little did those of us working hard every day to make the company successful know what was going on at the top of Enron," said Bob Vigil, an electrical machinist working foreman. "We trusted managements glowing reports of strong financial growth and opportunity. Then in October, Enrons house of mirrors came crashing down."
He read a list of names of PGE workers, many of whom spent 30 or more years accumulating millions of dollars in savings in accounts today worth a fraction of their former value.
The hearing, chaired by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), probed the collapse of Enron stock and its impact on stockholders who lost an estimated $63 billion in equity.
Until late this year, Enron was the largest energy trader in the country, making investors millions while hiding losses in complicated financial statements. On the same day the federal Securities and Exchange Commission launched an investigation, employee investment accounts were frozen, leaving workers to watch the company stock value plunge to junk status.
"Its unconscionable that hard-working, dedicated workers were forced to sacrifice their life savings to prop up a failing company," said IBEW President Edwin D. Hill. "Those who ran the company into the ground certainly arent wiped out financiallyjust the workers who made their success possible."
Besides bringing congressional and public attention to the human side of Enrons collapse, IBEW members are joining class action lawsuits and pursuing grievances against the company for violating collective bargaining agreements.
December 18, 2001