Offutt Workers Worried About Sequester Furloughs

By: Brittany Gunter
By: Brittany Gunter

A cut in government spending could mean a cut in Heartland jobs. It’s a tough scenario for civilian workers at Offutt Air Force Base.

Inside DJ’s Dugout in Bellevue many Offutt civilian workers attended a union meeting Wednesday night. They are there to ask questions about how the sequester will affect them.

Offutt officials tell Channel 6 the answer to that question is still up in the air, but workers like single mom Tracy Killian have been hearing that furloughs could be on the way. Killian now lives paycheck to paycheck and isn’t sure what she will do if that happens. “I will literally probably not buy food. I will have to go to the food bank just to be able to eat."

Edward Beuth has worked at Offutt for 13 years and has been thinking the same thing. “I’ve being thinking about cutting my satellite TV and my internet.”

It’s cuts they hope they won’t have to make if lawmakers take action. “There are ways of cutting the budget, of cutting the cost in defense without doing the massive cuts the way they did,” said Union President Steven Johnson.

“I think it’s a big game the government is playing between the President and Congress,” said Beuth. Many of these workers feel like they are caught in the middle, but for them it’s not a game, it’s their life. “I personally feel like our government has completely lost focus of what human beings we go through down here,” said Killian.

The union believes the furlough would mean workers would lose a day of work every week. Offutt officials say no specifics of the furloughs are known at this time.

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