Former Employee Speaks on Endicott Interconnect Layoffs

By Kelly McCarthy

January 9, 2013 Updated Jan 9, 2013 at 7:20 PM EDT

Newark Valley, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Action News is hearing from workers and former employees of Endicott Interconnect about a series of layoffs during the past few months. While the company continues its silence, former employees are not.

Action News sits down with one woman let go from the company on Tuesday.

She shares more about a career that spans decades at EI.

Cynthia Hitchcock of Newark Valley started her job with IBM before her division was bought by Endicott Interconnect.

She thought it would be the place she'd stay until retirement.

Hitchcock went to work on Tuesday like any other day, and there she received this notice saying her job was eliminated as a result of company layoff.

She worked in the environmental department and it was her job to check all of the state regulations on equipment.

That department has about 15 people in it, and Hitchcock says she's the fourth to be laid off since September.

The employee of 31 years at Endicott Interconnect said part of her reaction was relief, part disappointment.

"What are you calling a severance package? I got a packet that says new York public assistance, if you need food stamps you go here, if you need this you go there, and oh by the way your health insurance stops today," said Hitchcock.

She adds the news didn't come as complete shock but she is worried about how it could affect her future.

"The biggest concern I have is the medical. I'm on dialysis, I'm waiting for a kidney transplant and I get let go and at the same time told no benefits at all once. That was the tough part, the other part was kind of relief," said Hitchcock.

Although she wasn't necessarily expecting the news she says believes there have been warning signs that the company is struggling.

"We've been on shared work for ten weeks, then they did like a three week shut down, we haven't been able to get parts and material to do things with. It's just been a slow agonizing death," said Hitchcock.

Hitchcock believes her fate was part of a substantial layoff the company is going through in recent months.

Endicott Interconnect has not responded with any information after multiple calls and even a visit to the companies building.

Normally big layoffs require the state department of labor to be notified.

But that didn't happen here.

The New York State Department of Labor requires private companies employing more than 50 people to notify it about significant layoffs or plant closings.

But, the so-called "WARN" notice also depends on whether the job loss adds up to at least 33 percent of the full-time workforce or mass layoffs of 250 or more full time employees.

No such notice is posted for Endicott Interconnect.