In late April, though, the 1,200 civilian employees of Defense Logistics Agency’s distribution facility would be required to begin taking 22 weekly furlough days without pay, said Army Lt. Col. Elizabeth Robbins, a Pentagon spokeswoman, by telephone.
The spending cuts, known as a sequester, amount to $1.2 trillion in reductions to military and other federal spending.
The package was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law by President Barack Obama in an effort to motivate Congress to compromise on the national debt.
Cuts were initially scheduled to take effect Jan. 1 but were pushed back to March 1 by the “fiscal-cliff” deal.
However, a new deal had not been reached as of press time Thursday, Feb. 28.
The furlough days would be mandated for all civilian employees of the Department of Defense, if the sequester deadlock is not resolved before Friday’s deadline, Robbins said.
She said Department of Defense civilian employees, including those at the local DLA installation, which has depots in Tracy on Chrisman Road and in Lathrop, would be notified of the furloughs in the third week in March, and the one-day-a-week unpaid furloughs would begin at the end of April.
“The furloughs would continue for 22 weeks through September, when the fiscal year ends,” Robbins explained.
Only employees with jobs viewed as critically essential to defense operations would be exempted from the furloughs, which would amount to a 20 percent pay cut during the 22 weeks, the Pentagon spokeswoman said.
“We hope that something can be worked out between the Administration and Congress to avoid the sequester,” Robbins said, “but right now that is looking less likely.”
She said that federal law required the Defense Department to notify Congress of the pending furloughs Feb. 20.
If the sequester deadlock is resolved after the Friday deadline and before the unpaid furloughs are scheduled to begin at the end of April, then the furloughs and other cuts could be rescinded.
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