In the news...

October 4, 2013

Air Force mechanics at Utah base protest shutdown

Paul Foy
Associated Press

The government shutdown has furloughed some civilians at Hill Air Force Base while forcing thousands more to continue working without any hope of receiving a paycheck, a union leader said Oct. 2.

People are angry, demoralized. I’ve never seen it this bad in the 31 years I’ve been a federal employee, said Monty Lewis, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1592. It represents about 8,000 mechanics, electricians, sheet-metal workers and others at Hill Air Force Base.

How do we feel? Like a punching bag. Like a pawn in a game of chess played by Congress, Lewis, an aircraft electrician, said Oct. 2. That’s how we feel.

More than 50 furloughed workers vented frustrations in a protest Oct. 1 outside Hill Air Force Base, and they plan to do it again. They will gather Thursday outside the Ogden field office of U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah.

Aircraft supply specialist Tami Henrikson planned to join the demonstration. Henrikson was furloughed while her husband, a tool crib manager, works without pay.

I’d like to go to work she said. I’d like to be able to pay my bills to keep my house and keep food on the table. I don’t know if my medical insurance is still active. I don’t know how long this is going to take.

Bishop said Oct. 2 he was trying to keep civilian defense employees working and paid. He blamed President Barack Obama for the shutdown in a statement that absolved Congress of any responsibility.

Hill Air Force Base is Utah’s largest employer with some 25,000 federal employees and contractors. It pours about $3 billion into the Utah economy.

About 2,700 of the civilians have been furloughed, Lewis said. Others considered mission critical are being forced to work without knowing if they’ll receive their next paycheck on Oct. 11, he said. The furloughed workers may never be compensated, he said.

Hill commanders referred calls from The Associated Press to a public affairs office that has been shut down.

Lewis said the aircraft mechanics and others being forced to work for IOUs are doing their jobs, but that Congress is failing everyone.

We need them to pass a balanced budget. We haven’t had one in five years. It’s crazy. You couldn’t run a corporation like this, Lewis said.

At best, Congress was approving piecemeal appropriations in lieu of a full budget, “kicking the can down the road,” Lewis said. This time, they can’t even kick the can down the road. It’s asinine.

Throughout Utah, about 10,000 federal employees and contractors have been furloughed, said Juliette Tennert, Gov. Gary Herbert’s chief economist.

Utah’s economy is doing fine but could suffer whiplash if the national economy takes a hit from a prolonged shutdown, she said.

The impact on the Utah economy will be determined by the duration of the shutdown, Tennert said. The impact should be minor to the state economy as a whole, but for individual families it could be challenging.

Leading economists project that every week of shutdown will shave two-tenths of a percentage point off the U.S. economy’s gross national product, she said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>