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Letterkenny furlough begins Friday

July 11, 2013|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — The first of 11 days without pay through September begins Friday for workers at Franklin County’s largest employer, according to a Letterkenny Army Depot official.

The furlough begins this week and continues at the rate of one furlough day per week through Sept. 30, which is the end of the current fiscal year, according to depot officials.

“Approximately 2,600 civilians and contractors will be affected by the furlough,” Letterkenny spokeswoman Lindsay Bryant wrote in an email Thursday.

The current depot employment is 2,662, including civilians, contractors and military, she said.

Uniformed military members and firefighters are exempt from the furlough, Bryant said.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little wrote in a statement posted July 8 that furloughing 85 percent of the U.S. Department of Defense civilian employees as part of the federal government’s sequestration effort will save the department $1.8 billion by the end of September.

“What happens in fiscal 2014 remains up in the air,” Little wrote on the DOD website about the possibility of future layoffs.

“We’re getting ahead of ourselves talking about layoffs at this stage,” he wrote. “Right now we’re in the furlough period and no decisions have been reached about what may happen going forward.”

In March, federal workers faced a furlough of up to 22 nonconsecutive days that would begin the week of April 22 and continue through September.

But, 22 days was reduced to 14 days, which was whittled down to an 11-day work furlough.

Those affected by the job action will lose one day of work per week or 20 percent of their pay over the next 11 weeks.

“Letterkenny Army Depot began offering workshops in March, which have continued over the course of the past few months,” Bryant said.

“The workshops have offered assistance in areas such as debt management, credit management, anxiety/depression, investing and savings as well as budgeting. A financial counselor is also available to meet with employees to counsel personal financial situations,” she said.

L. Michael Ross, president of Franklin County Area Development Corp., has said not only will Letterkenny employees suffer from a furlough, but the entire community will suffer financially.

Federal workers will cut back on their spending, which will impact the local community, Ross said previously.

The president of the Local 1429 National Federation of Federal Employees declined to comment Thursday.

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