Expecting Powhatan couple both laid-off

By Andy Jenks - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) - A Powhatan couple have been laid off within three weeks of each other, right before the birth of their child.

John Erwin used to work for Qimonda and his wife Beth used to work for Circuit City. Both say they have never been laid off until now.

"Oh, yeah. I was freakin'. Cause you know we have the kid coming and you starting thinking what can you do, start scrambling what am I gonna do?" said John Erwin.

Grace, who will be born via C-section next week, will be the couple's first child. John's pay and benefits stop Friday, so the couple is going on COBRA  to continue their health coverage at a price of $1,300 a month.

Without a regular income, the Erwin's situation is not unlike the thousands of other families faced with layoffs in this economy. If there's one difference, it's that the layoffs happened at Qimonda with almost no notice.

"I've got a lot of friends and a lot of co-workers that were just devastated that day," John said. "You can see it in their faces. Single income or husbands and wives working there walked out that morning with nothing."

For now, the Erwins say they're fortunate. They can get by on savings, but they know that can't last forever, so they both are looking for jobs.

Beth was lucky enough to get severance from her job at Circuit City which lasts until March 21.

There is a class action lawsuit against Qimonda in which employees say they should be getting paid for two more months.

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