Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tinker Employees Planning 'Informational Picket Line'

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tinker Employees Planning 'Informational Picket Line'

Article excerpt

A one-day informational picket line at Tinker Air Force Base is planned for Friday as officials of the American Federation of Government Employees try to enlist public support to stop layoffs and furloughs, a union official said Tuesday.

"We expect the pickets to go up no later than 6:30 a.m.," said Treasurer Joe Wise of Local 916 of the government employees union. "The picketing will continue at least until 5 p.m., maybe even later."

While picketing, union members will carry placards and signs expressing their opinions about the announced 10-day furlough of 17,000 civilian employees at Tinker and the layoff of another 771 civilians, Wise said.

The layoff of on-call employees will be effective March 19, but no date has been determined for beginning of the furloughs, which were announced in late January.

"We are asking them (officials of the Air Force Logistics Command) to delay the layoffs for at least 30 days," Wise said. "That will give us time to complete negotiations."

Negotiations are under way at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, between the logistics command and the union to determine the mechanics of the furloughs. The late January announcement said all 84,000 employees command-wide would be furloughed in one-day increments for 10 days the remainder of this fiscal year.

The furloughs, unpaid administrative leave, would save the command an estimated $115 million, officials have said. Budget cutbacks ordered by Congress have reduced the Air Force's operation and maintenance fund by $300 million.

Salaries for the vast majority of the employees are paid from this fund.

Although 17,000 Tinker employees face furlough, another 1,200 will not be affected, officials said, because their salaries are paid by another fund.

Furloughs and layoffs would reduce spending at Tinker by an estimated $26. …

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