Arsenal Employees Speak Out On Shutdown - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Arsenal Employees Speak Out On Shutdown


Over 2500 Rock Island Arsenal employees have been affected by the current government shut down.  Monday some were back at work, with more expected to come back in the coming days, but many others are still waiting for word on when exactly they can get back on the job.  

"We're kind of caught between a rock and a hard place," JMC employee and AFGE Local 15 VP Karen Montague says.     

Montague has been waiting for a phone call since yesterday when she heard the news about Arsenal employees being called back to work. 

"I'm furloughed, we were given instruction to wait for our supervisors to call," Montague says, "I've got my cell phone, I'm waiting for him to call, so far I haven't received word." 

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Saturday most furloughed civilian Defense employees would be called back to work, but who gets paid when is unclear.   

"We have one more paycheck coming, but after that there's going to be some disruption in their pay," AFGE Local 15 President Steve Beck says. 

For those who haven't gotten that call yet, the future is daunting.  

"Since I have not heard from my supervisor, I'm assuming I'm in the group that's not going to be called back," Montague says, "I'm a widow, I don't have a family I'm supporting but I'm completely dependent on my own pay, so it's going to be rough if I don't get paid next week because that's the paycheck my house payment comes out of." 

Many others are in the same boat.  

"One gentleman just got a divorce, and he has to pay a lot of alimony and a lot child support," Montague says, "If he doesn't get paid, he's going to be in trouble for not making these payments." 

While they're unsure of the future, Arsenal employees have this message for Washington. 

"Go back to Washington and get together and work together as a team to end this nonsense that's going on out there in the Hill," AFGE 2119 President and JMTC employee Chuck Conger says. 

"We want to work, we want to be called back to work, there's work for us to do," Montague adds.  

Rock Island Arsenal officials have said there is enough funding to pay all employees through this pay period. No word yet on the status of any future paychecks.

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