Relocated Workers, Who Came to Texas from Big Apple, Now Face Layoffs
IRVING, Texas (AP) _ Hundreds of New Yorkers who came to Texas in 1982 when their international oil company fled Manhattan for spacious quarters in an exlusive development feel stranded now that they’re getting layoff notices.
Many say they can’t afford to return to the Big Apple and fear they won’t be able to find a comparable job if they remain in this economically depressed region.
Caltex Petroleum Corp. moved more than 600 employees when it relocated in 1982 from New York to ″Las Colinas,″ a business development in the Dallas suburb of Irving. Workers jumped at the chance to live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on New York salaries, many buying their first homes and first cars.
But corporate staff will fall below 200 next month when the company completes restructuring begun last year. Caltex officials say the belt- tightenin g was necessary because of the continuing slump in the petroleum industry.
Some of those being let go have more than 25 years of service.
The relocation ″was a good move for all of us,″ said Carole Morizio, who has been with Caltex for 30 years. ″But now, in this economy, there is no way we’re going to match our salaries. And we can’t afford to move.″
Mrs. Morizio told The Dallas Morning News the home she and her husband sold on New York’s Long Island in 1982 is now ″triple what I sold it for.″
Anita Lauria, a 17-year company veteran, said the Dallas-area job market ″offers me entry-level positions that would result in me losing my house.″
Caltex, a 50-50 joint venture between Chevron Corp. and Texaco Inc. dating to 1936, operates refining and marketing operations in 55 nations in the Middle East, Far East, Australia and Africa.
It historically has had a stable work force characterized by longevity of service, but revenues in the past three years have been less than half the level of 1984.
″This wasn’t an easy decision,″ said Bill Dunning, a Caltex vice president. ″We realize we’re affecting people’s lives, but we felt it was absolutely necessary for the long-term survival of our company.″