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Maine Shipyard Workers Could get Furlough Reprieve
05/09/2013 04:37 PM ET  

Assistant Navy Secretary Sean Stackley said yesterday that shipyard workers could be exempted from a two-week furlough being considered for 700,000 civilian employees.

Possible good news for workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery and at Bath Iron Works: According to Defense Department officials, shipyards may get a pass on budget-related furloughs.

Paul O'Connor, president of the Metal Trades Council, the largest union at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, is cautiously optimistic about a possible reprieve for shipyards. But he says he's baffled over why such measures were proposed in the first place.

"Sequestration was a manufactured crisis - manufactured by Congress," O'Connor says. "So none of it has to happen."

The Pentagon has said it's considering a possible two-week furlough of 700,000 civilian employees. Assistant Navy Secretary Sean Stackley said yesterday that shipyard employees could be exempted from any such action, due to the role their work plays in matters of defense.


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