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WORKER WORRIES CUTS WILL LEAD TO CLOSURE

SHARE WORKER WORRIES CUTS WILL LEAD TO CLOSURE

Eddie Medina has paid off his bills and gotten rid of his credit cards because he's not sure how long he'll be working, despite nearly two decades at Hill Air Force Base.

Medina, 38, is the single parent of six children and believes the recurring layoffs at the base will eventually result in its closure."Most people here believe we're systematically being downsized and that will eventually result in the base being closed. They'll nibble away at us until it affects our efficiency, then they'll say our productivity level isn't high enough to justify keeping the base open, then they'll have the grounds they need to shut it down," said Medina.

Medina, Ogden, has been on Hill's civilian work force since 1983, first as a sheetmetal worker on the now-obsolete F-4 Phantom fighter and now in the base planning office. Earlier, he served 8 1/2 years on active military duty. He is still in the Air Force Reserve.

Morale has suffered, Medina said Wednesday, because of the widespread belief that the base work force is being nibbled to death.

"If they're going to close the base, they should be up front about it, not keep stringing us along," he said. "Morale is not real high. There's not a whole lot of trust out here right now."

Medina said communication between workers and base managers about the layoffs has not been very good in the past.

"They met with us this time to inform us about the possible reductions. But in the past, we mostly got our information from the news media," Medina said.

The uncertainty of his future has caused Medina to make some revisions in his personal life.

"It's hard to know what to do with your life. I've got 19 1/2 years in here now, and I hope they'd give me another job if this latest layoff comes through. But you don't know, and that hurts some.

"I've gotten rid of my credit cards and paid off my bills. But I'm sure not going to go out and buy anything right now, like a new car. There's some things I'd like to buy, but I'm not going to," Medina said.

The single father said he hasn't talked about the situation with his six children. "I really don't discuss it with them. They have enough to worry about right now, just being in school."

Medina has been taking business and communication courses at Weber State University. He said if he's laid off, he'd work to get his degree and try a new career.