Workers on the Rock Island Arsenal are reacting to the appropriations bill that just passed the U.S. Senate on Thursday, Janurary 16th, 2014.
Workers on the island have not had to deal with the government shutdown since October of 2013. Now, they won't have to worry about it through September of 2014. That's how long the latest bill lasts.
The bill requires that the workloads on Arsenal Island are maintained at a minimum level. It also makes funds available to help the Arsenals keep their work rates competitive when they're trying to get more workloads. AFGE Local 15 President Steve Beck says the bill will be huge for the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, or (JMTC) workers, who have struggled to find work.
"They've had issues with workload and not having enough of it, as the workloads have drawn down in Iraq and Afghanistan," Beck said. "Their workload has gone down, and their costs have gone up because they're still required to keep certain industrial capabilities."