Below is a letter I've written and sent to the President. In the past two weeks, we've gotten a huge amount of support from our Congressman Derek Kilmer(D-WA 06), and many others, resulting in an amendmentment to the FY14 Defense spending bill that prohibits future furloughs of Working Capital Fund activities. We're meeting with our Senator during the August recess, and it appears she agrees with us, that these furloughs should be stopped, since they will save no money.
However, even though Congress is onboard, and agrees that these should be ended, they're going to go on vacation anyway.
Thus, we've appealled directly to President himself. These furloughs, applied to working capital funded activities, are yielding no savings, yet they are costing a lot of impliment. Productivity is lower than I've ever seen before, and morale is at an all time low. I'm recieving my first 'furlough paycheck' this week, and as a result have cancelled summer activities for my kids, as well as cancelled two planned vacations for August. While I have extra time off, my family simply doesn't have money to do anything with the extra time.
President Obama can stop these furloughs, by simply telling Hagel to knock it off. Unless there is an actual lack of funds and business reason, these furloughs are nothing more than an attack on the middle class.
Dear Mr. President,
I am excited to hear the commitment you have made to the middle class. I've got an immediate request that would greatly help me and many of my co-workers.
Could you please direct the Secretary of Defense to immediately end furloughs of working capital fund employees? These furloughs, applied in an arbitrary fashion, regardless of each agencies financial need, have caused significant damage to both our families and our ability to carry out our jobs.
While I appreciate the Secretary's desire to be fair, there is nothing fair about needlessly furloughing middle class workers, when no business reasons exist. We cannot strike, but what your department has essentially done is locked us out. We cannot work. We are being directed to take 1 day off without pay per week, for no reason other than perceived fairness.
I work for Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Keyport Division, in the State of Washington. We could hire 50 workers tomorrow based on funding and workload, if only your administration would let us. We have people working overtime here only to be furloughed the next day. We have money in hand and jobs to do, yet your Secretary of Defense has locked us out.
The fact is that this furlough violates federal law (10 USC 129), and will cost taxpayers MORE in the end. As a working capital fund activity, no money will be saved by furloughing us. We've been working with our Congressman, Derek Kilmer, and he's been relentless in questioning the Secretary over this policy. But we still haven't gotten a good answers as to why this is happening.
I've supported you since you announced your candidacy for the presidency. I donated a lot of money to your 2008 campaign on the promise that you would fight for the middle class. Because my pay was frozen, I couldn't donate as much in 2012, but I still canvassed my neighborhood and did what I could to support you. Now it's your turn to support us.
Please Mr. President, support us now. Stop these furloughs. Especially those at working capital fund sites, that are not supported by business reasons.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me. I will be away from work today, however, because I have been furloughed.