BROUSSARD, LA — The oilfield service company Weatherford International allegedly closed one of its Broussard locations Tuesday.
Employees in the Open Hole and Closed Hole Wire Line Division say they lost their jobs with no warning.
Before being escorted off Weatherford property, all former employees of the Broussard division were given three sheets of paper, in them a pledge not to speak against the company.
“They did not care about disrupting the family operations of 20 families”, according to a wife of one of the men who lost his job, severance pay is tied to that agreement, so she wanted to be anonymous less her husband be identified.
“I did not sign that paper, so I can say whatever I want to say”, she told me. Her husband went into attended the mandatory meeting Wednesday morning, but quickly learned all his coworkers including the manager have lost their jobs.
His wife said some people worked for Weatherford for over 20 years, “They were so loyal. Loyal to this company. This company which has become Scrooge”,
The former Weatherford employees all say they were given no advance warning and offered no other jobs within the company. The anonymous Jane Doe says when one man offered to work overseas to keep a job, he was told no one can apply for another Weatherford job for a year.
“Any company would be lucky to have any of these guys”, she said. “They didn’t even look at what somebody has to offer. They just (sigh), ‘We’re locking the doors. Oh, you have to go to the bathroom? You can’t go to the bathroom”.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Weatherford International is in the middle for bankruptcy proceedings in Europe.
The newspaper also says the Weatherford is executing a reorganization plan in the U.S. because they have not turned a profit in five years.
I reached out to Weatherford International’s Broussard offices who pointed me to Houston for a comment. They have not returned my call, but one group needs answers more than any else.
“It’s tough. It’s a kick to the gut to be minimalized to they needed to make cuts, and you were the one they cut”, the anonymous family member said.
She also told me workers were offered a week of severance pay for each year worked in the company, up to nine years.
At this point, she believes health insurance will last until the end of the month before families have to start premiums out of pocket through COBRA.
The families also say some of the former employees of the Broussard location are working offshore this week, and they are unsure how soon they will stop working and be sent home.