For about 684 civilian workers at Hill Air Force Base, Friday is a date they may wish they could forget. Hill officials say the workers were notified that they are going to lose their jobs.
A highly decorated and disabled Marine veteran who works in a warehouse at the base complained about the way the base treats its former warriors.By law, the workers must be notified at least 60 days before they are laid off. Because 60 days from now falls in the middle of a work period, the layoffs will actually take place a little later, said spokeswoman Sylvia Le-Mons-Liddle.
The last day these workers will report to Hill probably will be in mid-April.
Last November, the Air Force said more than 1,300 workers at Hill would be laid off because of budget constraints. But the number was reduced by early retirements and other separations of a voluntary nature.
On Friday, the Ogden Air Logistics Center, based at Hill, said it was giving 833 employees formal separation letters. However, about 149 of this number would be retained to fill existing vacancies.
The total to undergo forced separation is about 684. Another 18 on-call employees who were placed in a non-pay status four months ago should receive separation notices, said Beth Corliss, chief of civilian personnel.
Information meetings will be held next week for employees who get separation notices, or are forced to change to lower grades because of the reductions. They will be held at the Hill AFB theater at 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. and at 1 p.m. on Monday.
Attendance at the sessions is mandatory for all employees being separated. Entitlements such as consideration for priority placement will be discussed.
Counseling will begin on Wednesday. On Feb. 20, representatives from the Clearfield office of the State Department of Employment and the State Office of Job Training will hold meetings in the base theater, to discuss unemployment compensation, application for non-federal jobs, and job training, Corliss said.
Mickey Winters, Coalville, told the Deseret News he received two Purple Heart medals for his service in Vietnam. He was wounded in March 1967; his father was wounded and 100 percent disabled during World War II; his grandfather was wounded in World War I.
His father lives with him, Winters said. "He got five slugs in Iwo Jima."
After Winters got his layoff notice, he charged that Hill is "just trying to shove us (veterans) under the table. It kind of shocked me, it upset me."
The Marine Corps treated him well, he said, "but when we come home, boy, they don't care about us."