Pentagon Cuts Furloughs For Civilian Military Workers

Aug 8, 2013

The sequestration-imposed furloughs on employees at a military base in Whitehall are coming to an end.

Civilian workers at the Defense Supply Center Columbus will take their last furlough days next week after the U.S. Defense Department cut the number of unpaid days from eleven to six. But one Ohio Congressman says there shouldn't have been any furlough days at all. Jerry Kenney of member station WYSO in Yellow Springs reports.

Congressman Mike Turner of Ohio’s 10th district is Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces.  This week he met with civilian Defense Department employees from Wright-Patt who have been impacted by furloughs.

According to Turner, the workers told stories of high weeds on the base, closed bathroom facilities, and other workplace maintenance lapses. They also talked about how shorter work weeks have created financial hardships.

“Well it’s extraordinary to think that we could be allowing weeds to grow at Wright Patterson Air Force Base or that facilities could be broken and not repaired, including restrooms I mean we really have gotten to the point where is clear that sequestration, which I opposed, is having drastic affects on both our military readiness and also the morale of our employees who work for the deaprtment of defense.”

Turner says the announcement of fewer furlough days is a step in the right direction, but the DOD needs to go even further.

“But the real concern I have here is that there should be no furloughs at all.  The affect that it’s having on our ability to protect the country, the fact that 50% of the overall cuts proposed by the President in sequestration fall on the DOD, which is less than 18% of our overall budget, these are certainly the type of cuts that put our nation at risk.”