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Businesses Near Tinker Air Force Base Prepare For Military Cuts Impact

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Those cuts are set to begin March 1, and could drain as much as $125,000,000 in employee pay from Oklahoma in six months, according to government estimates. Those cuts are set to begin March 1, and could drain as much as $125,000,000 in employee pay from Oklahoma in six months, according to government estimates.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Businesses around Tinker Air Force base are preparing for the impact that will come from scheduled military cuts.

Those cuts are set to begin March 1, and could drain as much as $125,000,000 in employee pay from Oklahoma in six months, according to government estimates.

The majority of that money would come from Tinker's 14,000 civilian-government employees.

"I think we are all a little bit worried," said Masha Maughn of The Taste of Thai, a restaurant near the base.

On Monday, a national holiday, Maughn's restaurant was almost empty at lunch time. It would normally be packed with Tinker employees, but many had the day off.

"That's going to hurt us through the whole week," Maughn said.

She fears more slow days are coming because of the furloughs to be taken by many Tinker workers. Some furloughs will last 22 days.

"It looks like the average is going to be $4,500 per employee," said James Schmidt the Union President for Tinker civilian-government employees.

The AFGE Local 916 are been warning workers about the cuts.

Schmidt thinks the money lost to the economy could be more than $125,000,000.

"I can't say for certainty that we are all ready," Schmidt said.

Congress is now on a weeklong recess which began Friday. Once lawmakers are back in session in Washington, DC they will only have four days to reach a deal that would stop the automatic cuts.

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