Military warns workers: Furloughs are coming - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Military warns workers: Furloughs are coming

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Tuesday afternoon, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel sent out a memo to the Defense Department's civilian employees. Tuesday afternoon, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel sent out a memo to the Defense Department's civilian employees.
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The U.S. military is warning its workers furloughs are coming as the Pentagon deals with budget cuts.

Tuesday afternoon, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel sent out a memo to the Defense Department's civilian employees.

It will be considerably less painful than they have warned, but it will still be a tough blow, essentially a pay cut for hundreds of thousands of workers.

Hagel said the Defense Department will furlough most of its civilian workers by up to 11 days between now and the end of the current fiscal year this fall.

This is part of the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, which are coming into effect because congressional negotiators could not make a deal to trim the federal budget deficit.

Huntsville defense contractors who have been struggling to deal with, and plan for, sequester cuts say they are a dangerous and irresponsible way to work the country's books.

"We have to decide as a nation, are we willing to make the tough calls of what we have to do to get a better handle on a budget, which we haven't had in a long time? We need to do that," said military contractor employee Bob Woods. "If we apply the same management in a way that we use for our families and our small businesses for our government, we might be better off." 

The 11 days of furlough is fewer furlough days than the 22 the Pentagon had initially warned might come.

It also applies to fewer workers, about 680,000 as opposed to the 800,000 predicted back when it first became clear that sequestration cuts would hit the U.S. military.

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