- ([hicU!Jo ['ribune
Friday, July 26, 1991
Gilbert Romero with two ot his children,
Angela, 16, and Erik, 4. Mrs. Romero is
TI'1""" I)/'lOIIO I"f JaM a.,.,..,
headed for an AT&T job in Columbus, Ohio,
after being declared ·surplus· here.
Corporate cost-cutting moves
can cut into families as well
By Debran Rowland
Anita Romero had to make a choice: her job
or her husband and thn:c: children.
Romero had worUd aI the AmeriClD T ele-
phone &: Telegrapb Co. Service Center in West
Chicago for nearly 14 ycus. She was one of 90
workcn who were reccltly declared "surplus"
and offered the choice of transferring to plants
outside illinois or ~
here at the rUk of
losing their jobs.
"Either I stay here and maybe get IJUd off, or I
go there," Romero said two weeb ago in an
Ul teT'View. She had already made a dc:cision, but
she dreaded telling her 4-yc:at-<>ld son that she
would be leavin3 for a lower-paying job at an
AT&T plant in Columbus, Ohio.
Her husband, Gilbert, who w worked at the
West Chicago plant for 19 yean, still has his job
and staved belund with th6r three childn:n wnc:n
his wife' left last wed:.
The Romeros' situation is an example of the
human costs of foreign competition. union offi-
cia!! say. AT&T officials say this kind of thing
sometimes happeru as companies are forced to
make tough and necessary changes to stay com-
Since AT &rs regulated monopoly was or-
dered brolc.en up in 1984, the company has elim-
inated 100,000 jobs-26.000 in the manufactUr-
ing area-and moved 8,000 othen to Jllants in
Mexico. Asia and Europe. Company officials say
is all part of the streamlining needed to stay
competitive in the global market; AT&T still
employs more than 280,OOOpcople.
And AT&T is not alone:.. Shrinking operations
and relocating wo~ by giving them it choice
of moving rather than ri.s.lcing unemployment bas
become a workplace reality.
A company need noe be moving operations
out of the country for worice~ to be presented
with s.imilar dile