Tell us what the impact of sequestration furloughs will mean to you

The Federal Workers Alliance (FWA)—a coalition of twenty-one labor unions, collectively representing more than 300,000 federal workers government wide—has created an online message board for members and their families to share their personal stories about the impact of sequestration and furloughs.
Let’s put a face to the wokers affected by Congress’ inaction. Our stories matter.

The board is very easy to use and there is no login required. The board can be accessed by clicking this link:

Here is what some of you are already saying about the impact of furloughs and sequestration on your families.

Impacts of Sequestration and/ or a full-year continuing resolution on the Army

Navy Continuing Resolution and Sequestration Cuts

Under the current Continuing Resolution (CR), which is funding government agencies at Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) levels, the Department of Navy, its workers, and its mission are all being stretched thin.

Navy Actions under Continuing Resolution:

  • Cancel 10 Ships in San Diego, 10 in Norfolk, 1 in New London, 1 in Washington, 1 in Mayport.
  • Cancel 3rd and 4th qtr aircraft maintenance in San Diego, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Whidbey Island, Lemoore, and Cherry Point.
  • Cut 1,121 Temporary workers mostly in shipyards and base operating support.
  • Reduce Facilities, Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization (FSRM) by 50%
  • Cut Base Operation and Support (BOS) by 10%
  • Cut Navy Expeditionary Combat Command
  • Reduce ship ops, flying hours
  • Cancel 30 building demolition projects
  • Delay decommissioning and/ or disposal prep
  • Implement civilian hiring freeze
  • Defer “new start” MILCON projects
  • Defer “new start” Construction of CVN 79
  • Defer “new start” aircraft procurements
  • Defer “new start” research and development
  • Cancel construction of 1 D DG-51

Under Sequestration:

  • Cancel several Attack Submarines (SSN) deployments
  • Flying hours on deployed carriers in Middle East reduced 55%; streaming days reduced 22%
  • Reduce WestPac deployed ops by 35%; Non-deployed Pac ships lose 40% of streaming days
  • Cancel naval operation in and around South America; cancel all non-BMD patrols
  • Shutdown all flying for 4 of 9 CVWs in Mar13. 9-12 months to restore normal readiness at 2-3 times the cost.
  • Stop non-deployed operations that do not support pre-deployment training.
  • Reduce non-deployed operations for pre-deployment training.
  • Cut all exercises (e.g., MALABAR, CARAT, FOAL Eagle).
  • Reduce port visits.
  • Furlough most Civilians for 22 work days.
  • Defer emergent repairs
  • Cancel Community outreach programs


  • NIM, GHWB CSGs will not be ready for scheduled FY13 deployments
  • By OCT13, only 1 CSG/ 1 ARG (Japan-based) crisis ready
  • By OCT13, CONUS forces will require 9+ months to deploy due to maintenance and training curtailments
  • Middle East deployed CSG reduced to 1 by mid-FY14
  • Up to 46,000 Department of Defense civilian employees will be immediately laid off.
  • Another 800,000 workers will face furlough days resulting in a 20 percent pay cut.
  • More than 100,000 people could lose jobs in the shipbuilding and repair industry and our supply chain.
  • 800,000 civilian employees will face as many as 22 furlough days, closing our shipyards one day a week until September 2013. These employees will see a 20 percent reduction in their
  • Economists believe as many as one million jobs will be directly or indirectly lost should Congress fail to pass a defense budget.
  • Another CR will result in additional ships being decommissioned or deferrals of new Navy ship construction programs and the accompanying loss of as many as 100,000 jobs in shipbuilding and the supply chain.
  • As of February 6, 2013,the deployment of the U.S.S. Harry Truman strike group, which had been scheduled to deploy to the Persian Gulf had been cancelled. Our troops in the Persian Gulf for the first time have only one strike group in place.
  • The Navy is canceling 23 ships scheduled for repair and modernization already contracted as well as overhauls and scheduled dry-docking because the old continuing resolutions cannot fund them. Our readiness as a military force is being systematically degraded by continuing resolutions and the threat of sequestration.
  • The Navy will start canceling ship repairs and defer or cancel construction of some new vessels starting on February 15th.

Bipartisan Coalition of Labor and Maritime Business Owners Urge Congress to Pass a Defense Appropriation Bill to Avoid Another Continuing Resolution and Sequestration

Washington, D.C.—A bipartisan coalition of labor unions and maritime business owners affiliated with the Shipbuilding Council of America have jointly sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to pass a defense appropriations bill and avoid sequestration cuts before the Navy begins widespread lay-offs and cancellation of ship maintenance on February 15, 2013.

In the letter the coalition stresses that “If no action is taken, the magnitude and indiscriminate nature of sequestration coupled with the 2013 Continuing Resolution will trigger significant reductions in operating budgets across the United States Joint Forces, degrading our military readiness and resulting in economic harm to workers and communities across the country.”

Explaining that the situation has “profound consequences for America’s workers and communities,” the letter urges Congress to pass a budget before February 15, 2013 and that failure to do so would result in:

  • Up to 46,000 Department of Defense civilian employees will be immediately laid off.
  • Another 800,000 workers will face furlough days resulting in a 20 percent pay cut.
  • More than 100,000 people could lose jobs in the shipbuilding and repair industry and our supply chain.

The letter continues outlining the already dire consequences of inaction on the federal budget citing the February 6, 2013, Navy cancellation of the deployment of the U.S.S. Harry Truman aircraft carrier strike group, which had been scheduled to deploy to the Persian Gulf later that week. “This leaves the United States with only one aircraft carrier in place to provide critical air power for our troops in that volatile region. Looking ahead, the Navy plans to cancel all 3rd and 4th quarter repair and availabilities to address budget shortfalls due to another continuing resolution.”


The letter is signed by Ron Ault, President of the Metal Trades Department and the presidents of its affiliated unions including Patrick D. Finley, Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons; Thomas Buffenbarger, IAMAW; Joseph Nigro, SMWIA; James A. Williams, IUPAT; James T. Callahan, Operating Engineers; Newton Jones, IBB; Gregory Junemann, IFPTE; William Hite, UA; William R. Dougan, NFFE; and David J. Holway, NAGE. It is also signed by Frank Foti, SCA Chairman, CEO Vigor Industrial and the more than 100 maritime business owners who make up the Shipbuilding Council of America.

Addressing job losses in the letter the coalition explains “the jobs to be lost are in all 50 states, not just Navy homeports and coastal areas. Highly skilled workers will be laid off and might leave the industry altogether. Communities where these workers live will feel the effects in reduced support for local businesses and reduced revenue for schools and local municipal services at a time when our economy is just beginning to show signs of recovery. Many small businesses, and minority-, veteran-, women-owned and disadvantaged companies, face going out of business. New workers, including veterans, will not be hired.” And that “Once lost, many of these jobs will not return to our economy.”


MTD Holds Emergency Legislative Action Meeting on Sequestration

The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO held an emergency legislative action meeting Thursday February 7, 2013, focusing on how to convince Congress to STOP sequestration and press Congress to pass a budget. “As dangerous as sequestration is, another continuing resolution worse,” said Metal Trades Department President Ron Ault.

If Congress cannot come to a bipartisan solution to avoid both a Defense Budget Continuing Resolution and sequestration the automatic and indiscriminate cuts will force the DoD to immediately layoff as many as 46,000 civilian employees. After March 15, another 800,000 civilian employees will lose 20 percent of their income to forced furloughs. And, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Economists predict that as many as 1 million jobs could be lost directly and indirectly over the next few years due to the cuts in shipbuilding maintenance and repair. With our economy just starting to recover from the great recession the cuts caused by another continuing resolution and sequestration will obliterate the gains we have made.

With most of our affiliates in attendance, or calling in via teleconference, the department has asked all of our affiliated unions to focus their resources on lobbying Congress on the effects of sequestration and the dangers of another CR on our federal workforce, our national security and our fragile U.S. economy.

Although sequestration provides short-term cuts and savings, delaying program acquisitions will actually raise the total cost of programs in the long run. This will mire us deeper in a fiscal hole.

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