Contract workers worry about MCLB jobs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Contract workers worry about MCLB jobs

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Contract workers at Albany's Marine Base are worried they could lose their jobs after a new corporation won the contract to support the Maintenance Center for the next two years.

788 Maintenance Center workers now employed by AECOM will wonder about their job status for about a month. Some of them tell us they worry several hundred jobs could be lost.

Maintenance center officials learned Wednesday night that U.R.S. Federal Support Services out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma won the vendor contract to support the Maintenance Center. They take over the support role May 23rd, and those 788 workers are now waiting to find out about their future.

The vendor contract to support the work at the Maintenance Center is bid every two years, and base officials say it's usual business that the new contract winning corporation hires 99.9%  of the current contract workers. Base officials would not go on camera with us, but they say they will have to wait until they meet with U.R.S. Federal Support Services officials to learn more about their plans.

The maintenance center tells the vendor how many people they need to support their work, but the contract corporation will decide how much to pay their workers and the benefits, and who those workers are.

Today base officials described the recent work load at the maintenance center as robust, with some shops working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the third month in a row. The center is refurbishing military equipment used in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, to get that equipment ready to return to action as soon as possible.

But some of those contract workers currently at the maintenance center have contacted WALB, and said they are concerned that federal budget delays and fiscal cutbacks could cost 200 to 300 people those jobs.

Base officials say they expect to learn more in the next 35 days, as they wait to meet with U.R.S. before they take over the contractor role. Until then the contract workers have to wait and find out how long their jobs will continue.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense bids out these contracts every two years for price competitiveness. They use contract workers so the maintenance center has the ability to surge or draw back, in other words to control the number of employees they keep on the payroll.

We contacted URS Federal Support Services today. They told us they're not ready to comment yet. We also tried to contact AECOM which currently holds the contract. They did not return our calls.