Furloughs incoming at Anniston Army Depot - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Furloughs incoming at Anniston Army Depot

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

It is bad news for civilian employees at the Anniston Army Depot: furloughs are in the near future. The notices went out Wednesday and the furloughs start July 12th.

The order came from the Department of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. There is nothing the Depot can do, and some say these furloughs could harm our soldiers overseas.

By this time next month, production at the Anniston Army Depot will slow down. All the military equipment they repair and ship out could potentially take longer to fix.

"Politics, politics, that's what it all boils down to and it's sick," said Shrene Funderburg, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1945, the union that represents the employees. "11 days, which adds up to thousands of dollars for people who work here at the depot."

From a production stand point, she does not see how her people will keep up with the demand.

"I don't understand how they can furlough us, knowing our soldiers need the equipment. I'm scared for them," Funderburg said about our men and women overseas.

Anniston Army Depot Commander, Colonel Brent Bolander said in a statement, "Our mission is to support the warfighter, but our production may move to the right. If requirements warrant an overhaul of a certain number of items, those items may not be repaired/completed on time due to one less day in the work week. Thus requiring us to push the requirement to the next week."

Currently, employees here are working overtime bracing for these furloughs. Funderburg says it is not about the money, it is politics in Washington.

"The depot does have the money to keep our people employed without furloughs so the only reason we're being furloughed is because we are being made to do so."

Funderburg is planning to appeal each and every furlough. What is even more frustrating for these folks, the depot is in the process of hiring another 80 people to meet the work demand. Funderburg says it does not make any sense.

Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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