The president of the local union that represents about 4,000 Robins workers says some members are worried about how they'll pay the bills.
Tom Scott says many
are still struggling financially from furloughs this summer. Those were a result of sequestration.
The shutdown of the federal government Tuesday creates an added burden, he said. "Several of them, their financial situation, they're upset. People in tears trying to figure out how they're going to make ends meet with their family, because some are single parents with only one income coming in."
Scott and his staff told members to call their Congressmen, and urge them to agree on a federal budget.
He said if the furlough lasts more than seven days, employees become eligible for unemployment benefits through the
Scott says he hopes the shutdown ends long before people are forced to take a week off work.
He said, "I wish this whole process was over regarding the furloughs. That elected officials would actually become leaders, and take on the roll and do what's best for the country. I can't emphasize that enough. You're having an effect on the working class people of the world."
Scott also suggested that Robins workers who are continuing to work and getting paid, carefully check their pay stubs.
He said a lot of the people in the payroll office are furloughed, so it's possible for mistakes to be made.
Scott said the furlough at Robins is primarily affecting office workers. They went home and won't receive pay, unless the government decides to retroactively pay them, after they reach a budget agreement.
Many flight line employees, aircraft maintenance workers, are still on the job. They're paid out of a different pot of money called the working capital fund.
Scott said they've been told there's enough money for them to keep being paid for awhile. He said, "They're telling employees they only have enough funding for ten days or 14 days. Then after that they may have to come to work and be under IOU until this issue is resolved."
Monday, a base spokesman said about 4,000 employees could be furloughed.
13WMAZ tried to get an answer on how many actually received furlough letters Tuesday. However, no on in the Public Affairs office could be reached, because they are on furlough.
Letters to Robins workers from Robins Commander Col. Chris Hill, instructed them to "listen to public broadcasts and keep abreast of the latest news regarding the budgetary status of the United States Government."
The letter said employees should report back to work, when they hear that an agreement has been reached.
It says that the furlough period is "not expected to exceed 30 days," but the duration isn't known at this time.