INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Unpaid furlough days have begun for more than 10,000
civilian defense workers in Indiana affected by the automatic federal budget
The furloughs began Monday under the congressional budget stalemate that
brings the automatic spending cuts. The affected workers are facing 11
unpaid furlough days this summer.
The Indianapolis Star reports that the workers are being asked to take their
days off on Mondays and Fridays.
Blake Johnson, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., said the
furloughs affect 3,100 Navy employees and 800 Army workers at Crane Naval
Surface Warfare Center in southern Indiana are also facing furloughs.
Another 4,000 civilians who work at the Defense Finance and Accounting
Services center in the Marion County city of Lawrence, are also affected.
That center handles payrolls for the Pentagon.
Lawrence Mayor Dean Jessup said the two furloughed days per week at
accounting centers are certain to have significant effects on the commercial
and retail industry in the community of about 46,000 residents, even though
most of the center’s employees don’t live in Lawrence.
“It’s our largest employer, so that would have an impact on our eateries and
our places of business here,” Jessup said.
“The economy will be impacted when that many man-hours and money are taken
away, no matter what,” he said.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has outlined a plan to furlough a total of
about 650,000 civilian employees for 11 days, starting this week and running
through the end of September.
Carson’s office said the arrival of the first furlough day this week
prompted a flurry of requests to Congress and Hagel for politicians and
federal unions to find ways to avoid the temporary layoffs.
“We need a budget compromise that replaces sequestration, creates jobs,
strengthens the middle class, and responsibly reduces the deficit,” Carson
said in a statement.
A bipartisan group of 31 House lawmakers sent a recent letter to Hagel
questioning why he was furloughing 180,000 civilian defense employees
nationwide whose salaries are financed through capital funds and not the
direct congressional appropriations that are affected by federal