WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The looming sequester cuts are only nine days away, and deadline is creating a sense of urgency for civilian workers and local businesses in our area.
On Wednesday, Pentagon officials announced that if the automatic budget cuts go through March 1, thousands of civilian workers would have to take one furlough day of work per week for 22 weeks. The furloughs would apply to nearly 800,000 civilian workers, and the 14,000 civilian workers at Robins Air Force Base. The furloughs will cut civilian pay by 20%.
Charlie Tripis, executive vice president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 0987, is working diligently to avoid some of the severe cuts workers in Warner Robins are facing.
"That would be devastating to a lot of families, Tripis said, "especially if they have a one income family."
If the furloughs can't be avoided, Tripis plans to work to better the situation for the base.
"The union, their position is to have the 22 days all together, and give people the opportunity to have unemployment benefits," Tripis said.
Local businesses could also pay the price, if the base cuts back. Terri Murray and her husband own Po' Mans Kicked Up Soul Food just miles away from the base. They are already having conversations about sequestration.
"I don't think they realize how serious it is," Murray said, "we need to think about, do I need to pay my bills up ahead of time? How do I decrease this bill?"