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Crane Employees Protest Furloughs, Budget Cuts

Dozens of government union workers protested sequestration cuts outside NSA Crane Friday.

Holding banners and chanting, Crane employees used their lunch break to protest a 20-percent pay cut many are facing. The move will involve an unpaid furlough one day a week.

Union local secretary-treasurer Mary Crow says Congress’ inability to produce a budget should not cause her paychecks to get smaller.

“We think furloughs, sequestration, pay/hire freezes are ridiculous,” she says. “The people here are hard workers, during all the wars we work late, we go on ships, we have some people deployed in Afghanistan. We’re here to support the war-fighter.”

The workers say they are angry at lawmakers both sides of the aisle. Crane computer programmer Michael Padgett says the furloughs could affect the way the base responds to a national security incident.

“Our main job is to support our war-fighters,” he says. “Without our support, and they need it desperately, we’re going to be shorted up a little bit,” he says.

In a statement, Congressman Todd Young says his office has talked with a number of Crane employees and understands how they’re being affected by the furloughs.

Young blames the president, saying he has failed to put forth a specific plan and sequestration leads to across the board cuts rather than targeted reductions.

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