Hundreds of Moody AFB employees furloughed - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds of Moody AFB employees furloughed

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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Hundreds of Moody Air Force Base employees had to take an unpaid day off Monday. Furloughs began today mandated by those across the board federal spending cuts. Over the next three months, the furloughs will hurt not only the employees, but also local businesses who rely on Moody.

It's lunch time at Thai Chang and every single table in the restaurant is filled with Moody employees. Located right across the street from the base, Thai Chang relies almost solely on Moody business.

"We didn't realize that 500 of them were going to be unpaid leave, because as you can tell, that is our clientele, is Moody. So that's going to affect all of the waitresses here," said Thai Chang employee Missy Atteberry.

Atteberry says Monday the restaurant already began feeling the cutbacks. "We should have been wall to wall packed, and we're not and I don't know why. Then I found out about the furloughs and that's probably the reason why."

Over the next three months 470 civilian employees at Moody will take a 20-percent pay cut. They will be forced to take one unpaid day a week, falling on either on a Monday or a Friday.

"It is very difficult when you have to sit down and talk to your civilian workforce and kind of explain to them that this is what were asking them to do. We're asking them to be great Americans, we're asking them to be team members," said Lt. Col. Brian Freeman, 23rd Force Support Squadron Commander.

Financial counselors have been provided to the employees to help manage their budgets. But as for the local businesses, Freeman asks them to hang in there. "You have to think about where you're going to use your expendable dollars, so maybe you're not going to go out to eat as much, you're going to find ways to kind of conserve."

Freeman says Moody had been preparing for possible furloughs for a year and they will continue regular operations at the base.

Day care workers are the only civilian employees who are not included in the furlough days at Moody.

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Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, GA is experiencing furloughs beginning Monday.

According to a statement made May 31, Lt. Col. Brian Freeman, 23rd Force Support Squadron Commander the furloughs could lead to limitations in service. Below is the full statement:

The civilian furlough involves Air Force civil services (appropriated fund) employees only. There are approximately 470 employees on board. While the furlough may lead to some limitations in service, the base will remain open and continue operations.  Generally employees will be furloughed one day a week for up to 11 days beginning on July 8, 2013.  Supervisors are working contingency plans to handle operations during the furlough period.

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