Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Workers Protest Furloughs at Crane Naval Base ; Sequestration Set to Bring $36M in Cuts

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Workers Protest Furloughs at Crane Naval Base ; Sequestration Set to Bring $36M in Cuts

Article excerpt

CRANE, Ind. - Workers at the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center protested federal budget cuts Friday that union leaders say will cost them 20 percent of their pay. Members of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1415 blocked off a corner of the town in front of the base's visitors center to protest government cuts that will put many of the workers on furlough one day a week. The cuts are expected under the sequestration provisions enacted March 1 when Congress failed to reach agreement on legislation regarding the nation's national debt.

The protesters carried signs saying "Stop Furloughs," "Stop Sequester," and "Stop Pay Freeze." The group of about 30 walked next to the visitor's center, chanting, "Hey hey, ho ho, sequester's got to go."

Meetings have been held at the base this week to discuss the impact of the anticipated $36 million in cuts at the base. Official notices will be given to employees next week, base officials confirmed Friday.

The sequester will cut the workers' salaries 20 percent, according to Jimmy Colvin, president of the union local.

"That's going to have a devastating effect on our employees in order to pay their mortgages, pay their car payments, electric, gas and put food on the table," Colvin said. "This is going to have an effect on the local economy as well. We are going to have 20 percent less to spend."

The cuts are expected to start the last week of April for many of the base's 4,500 workers and remain in place until the end of the current federal fiscal year Sept. 30.

"We have been discriminated against and have been singled out, by the congressmen, to have the full impact of this on our backs," Colvin said.

Roy Pannell, a former national vice president of the union, said the soldier overseas suffers because of the sequester cuts. …

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