Furlough Puts Financial Strain On Tinker AFB Employees

Friday, July 12th 2013, 7:52 pm
By: News 9

This is the first of many Fridays to come where thousands of Tinker Air Force Base employees will be out on furlough. This comes in response to the sequester cuts.

Some workers will have about a 20 percent pay cut that many say they can't afford to take.

"Nobody's happy with it. I mean, it's a lot of money that we'll lose out of on," says Christine Lancaster, a furloughed employee.

Lancaster is one of thousands of Tinker Air Force Base civilian workers who are required not to come to work for 11 Fridays in order to save the department of defense hundreds of millions of dollars.

"I make about $150 or $160 each day. It'll take about $300 out of each check," Lancaster said.

Lancaster spent this first furlough Friday bringing her boyfriend lunch in Midwest City. She packs airplane parts for the defense logistics agency.

Anna Williams says her father's a longtime Tinker employee, who will now be out $800 a month.

"Well he got up thinking he's going to be going to work and realized oh we're being furloughed, I don't need to go in, I'm going back to sleep," said Anna Williams.

Williams' father just refinanced his home and took out a loan on his truck.

More than 650,000 civilian employees are now being furloughed at U.S. military bases in response to sequester cuts. That means Tinker's 14,000 civilian-government employees will have a shorter work week.

Lancaster says it will be more difficult to support her four children.

"No, I'll have to get a second job, something on the weekends. I mean it'll take me away from the kids, but I need to bring in that money that I'm missing out on."

Civilian workers at TAFB who lost their homes in the recent storms are exempted from the furloughs. The Department of Defense estimates the savings from the furloughs will be about $2 billion. Tinker employees will be furloughed every Friday until the end of September.