Pelco Cuts Over 100 Jobs

January 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Pelco cut more than 100-jobs Wednesday as part of a streamlining process that started when a French conglomerate took over in 2007, its biggest single round of layoffs ever. It includes a husband and wife and the wife said she's worried it's putting her husband's fragile health in danger. 15 years after her first day on the job, Christina Sandoval received a notice when she reported to work Wednesday. The letter notified her of a "mass layoff", eliminating the job she once loved. Hours later, she found out her husband also lost his job.

"I used to think it was the greatest place to work," Sandoval said. "What'd I do before that? El Pollo Loco."

The company Sandoval used to love has now made four rounds of layoffs in the last three years, but this one hits the hardest. Her husband needs constant medical care and unless they find new jobs in the next two months, they'll both lose their insurance.

"His stomach functions for stuff don't work anymore," she said. "He needs Miralax and Benefiber to help him."

The company said layoffs were the last option. "This is a step the company has tried to avoid," said Pelco spokesperson Kathleen Rhodes.

Last year, Pelco implemented furloughs and salary freezes, and cut several employee perks. It even shut down one of the buildings on campus and turned off the electricity. But the company's biggest buyers are in the construction business and as long as that industry is slumping, Pelco will probably also slump.

Its sales dropped significantly when the recession struck. So now, it's focusing on just its core business-- digital security cameras.

"Pelco has changed in order to adapt to the new economic reality we're facing," said Rhodes.

That economy reality is a struggle to stay profitable. For the newly unemployed Sandovals, the reality is a struggle to make ends meet.

Pelco offered severance packages to all the former employees. Christina Sandoval got 12 weeks pay. Her husband hasn't even looked to see what Pelco is offering him. His wife said he's not ready to face it.