Union Calls on Pentagon to Eliminate Furloughs

April 12, 2013

A large federal employee union is calling on the Defense Department to completely eliminate furloughs for its civilian employees.

In a statement released Friday, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said he was “encouraged to hear” that the Pentagon was beginning to reconsider the prospect of civilian furloughs. He said leaders in the military services “should be allowed to exercise” budget flexibility to reduce or eliminate the possibility of furloughs entirely.

"Forcing all employees off the job without pay for the same number of days out of some misguided notion of fairness is damaging to employees and undermines mission,” Cox said.

Defense originally said that it would be forced to furlough civilian employees for 22 days because of across-the-board budget cuts from sequestration. In late-March, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the stopgap spending measure funding the government through the end of fiscal 2013 gave the Pentagon enough flexibility to cut the number of furlough days to 14.

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