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Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND) indicates a chart showing the high value of Enron stock when executives sold their stock months ago.  Employees like Don Eri and Bob Vigil, IBEW Local 125 members employed by Portland General Electric testified they lost millions when the company's stocked plummeted in November.

Savings Locked in Company Stock, Employees Helpless as Value Plummeted

WASHINGTON, DCTwo members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers testified today before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

Bob Vigil and Don Eri, longtime workers at Portland General Electric, are among the nearly 1,000 members of IBEW Local 125 who are victims of Enrons November bankruptcy. Once among the most powerful companies in the United States, Houston-based Enron bought Oregon utility Portland General Electric in 1997.

Don Eri (L) and Bob Vigil (R) testify.

"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.

Full text of Eri testimony | Full text of Vigil testimony

IBEW Workers Testify Enrons Downfall Cost Them Savings

December 18, 2001

Opening statement of Sen. Byron Dorgan, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs
IBEW Members Tell Senators How Enron Execs Stole Their Retirement
Testimony of Donald Eri
Testimony of Robert Vigil
Enron Web site