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DSCC Employees Face Government Furloughs


UPDATED: Thursday April 4, 2013 5:51 PM

Civilian employees at the Defense Supply Center Columbus are facing 14 furlough days beginning in June.

"People are shocked, they're worried and the morale is terrible right now," said Patty Viers, President of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1148.

Viers said employees are already cutting back on everything from cable television to restaurants to car and house payments.

"For me, it will be my house payment," said Viers.  "I don't know how I'll make it.  I'll have to make choices on what bills I pay, and for federal employees, it's important we have a good credit record or we can't keep our jobs."

Due to sequester cuts, the Defense Department plans to send out furlough notices in mid-May.  Employees will then have to take the 14 furlough days between mid-June and September 30th.

The big concern for the city of Whitehall originates at DSCC.  The sequester could trigger 14 furlough days for the more than 7,800 employees. That, in turn, could take out over $800,000 from the local economy.

"Certainly anytime you start talking about furloughs at the city's largest employer, just like any other city, you tend to get worried," said Whitehall economic development director Zach Woodruff.  "Obviously we're a little worried.  We've been putting things in place to absorb that loss."

Viers said for civilian defense workers, the loss is tougher to absorb, and she blames Washington.

"I'm certainly disappointed we couldn't have gotten a grand bargain and gotten things settled so employees wouldn't have to face this," said Viers.

In total, about 750,000 defense workers across the nation will receive 14 furlough days, saving the Defense Department $2.5 billion, part of the $43 billion it is mandated to cut by September 30.

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