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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 10, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Defense-worker furloughs

Furlough is political and pointless

I’m stumped as to why our president, who campaigned on being a champion for the middle class, has decided to furlough middle-class defense workers for one day a week. ["A day without pay ahead for Pentagon workers," seattletimes.com, July 5.]

It’s not due to budget reductions from sequestration. At Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport, where I work, people are working overtime right now, and we could hire 50 people tomorrow based on workload. Yet we are still being furloughed. Keyport is funded indirectly, so no money will be saved from these furloughs. The only impacts are delays in deliveries to our troops, and a 20 percent pay cut for middle-class workers.

There are no legitimate business reasons for any of this. The administration is simply abusing defense workers, causing excessive waste, and harming our troops for purely political reasons. When asked why, it can’t even give a coherent response.

I am disgusted.

Gerry Austin, chief steward, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Keyport Professionals, Port Orchard

Comments | More in Politics | Topics: budget, defense, furlough

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