Local Military Civilian Employees Prepare for Sequestration - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Local Military Civilian Employees Prepare for Sequestration

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CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) -

Military and Army Depot workers at Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi are preparing for possible furloughs and slowdowns, all part of a list of government budget cuts known as the sequestration.

For the more than 4,000 employees on the base, it would take a serious toll on wages.

"If furloughs are enacted, civilians will experience a 20-percent decrease in their pay between late April and September," said Jessica Wright, acting undersecretary of defense.

That announcement from the Pentagon was followed up by a memo from the Secretary of Defense to all civilian employees. In it, Leon Panetta said he has "deep concerns of the direct impact of sequestration for you and your families."

"It's devastating for a family," said Joe A. Gonzales, president of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Gonzales said the impending cuts will affect the 4,000 civilians working for the government here.

"It equates to about $139 a day," Gonzales said. "You take that times 22 days, and that's how you're affecting the individuals back pocket under this sequester furlough."

"They've cut our pay over two or three years now, and they haven't given us a pay raise," said Kenneth Weeks, a civilian employee.

Close to retirement, Weeks said the cuts won't affect him much, but he added that won't be the case for the younger civilian employees at the base.

"A lot of our veterans out here depend on these salaries to feed their families and pay their mortgages and make their car payments, and this sequester would hurt them if they do the 20 days without pay," Weeks said.

"What gets me is that our congressman is not listening," Gonzales said.

It's too much to bare, according to government employees who are planning a protest outside of Congressman Blake Farenthold's offices next week.

"I have his voting record, and in his voting record it clearly shows that Congressman Farenthold was for the sequester," Gonzales said. "He voted for it."

The Army estimates the cuts will have a $15 billion economic impact across the country, affecting more than 300,000 jobs, with Texas among the hardest hit states.

The Navy estimates its cuts will cost 186,000 Navy civilians 20-percent of their paychecks.

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