Federal workers protest furloughs

March 21, 2013 at 1:24 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas, March 21 (UPI) -- Government employees in Fort Worth, Texas, demanded a stop to federal budget cuts that would mean a 22-day furlough for each worker during this fiscal year.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram said the turnout was small at a worker rally outside Naval Air Station Fort Worth, where officials have said about 2,200 workers face possible furloughs due to automatic spending cuts known as sequestration.

The newspaper said "more than a dozen" workers showed up to protest the spending cuts. "End sequestration now," one sign held up by protesters said. "Federal employees have sacrificed enough," another sign said.

The workers said their pay levels are already subjected to a two-year freeze in wage increases.

"We are here to show Congress that we are really serious about our jobs and our pay," said local union representative Jennifer Elmore, who works as an Air National Guard electronic technician.

The American Federation of Government Employees said they had called for a "national day of action," to bring attention to the furloughs they consider unfair.

Nationwide, 800,000 federal employees could be subjected to one day per week furloughs until the end of the fiscal year. The sequestration budget aims for a total spending reduction of $1.2 trillion.

"Our message is very clear: sequestration has got to go. If federal employees are furloughed without pay, if offices and plants are shut down, if vacancies aren't filled because of these across-the-board budget cuts, then federal employees won't be able to do the work that the American public expects them to do," said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. in a statement.

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