6,000 Arsenal employees begin furloughs July 8

The Rock Island Arsenal is bracing for furloughs to begin in a week.

The furloughs are a result of Congress not fixing automatic spending cuts, known as the sequester. Because of that, Arsenal employees will give up 20% of their pay over the next 12 weeks. Total, workers will lose $18 million that normally would have been made in that time. The Arsenal has already cut more than 300 jobs since the fiscal year began.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) represents workers on the island. Their Local 15 President says many workers are disappointed.

“They just can’t understand why that’s happening,” AFGE 15 President Steve Beck said. “I think there’s a lot of concern from people financially too because of the magnitude of the cuts and the furloughs that people are going to be taking.”

Furloughs begin July 8th. Workers will have to take 11 days off through September. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is expected to talk about the cuts on the Rock Island Arsenal. He’ll be at there at 4:00 p.m. Monday.

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