MCLB workers are back on the job - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

MCLB workers are back on the job

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

All Civilian employees at the Albany Marine Corps Logistics Base returned to work Monday.

Furloughed last Tuesday by the government shutdown, approximately 900 civilian employees at the Albany Marine Base were recalled Sunday, to return to work Monday.

Even though the Defense Secretary directed the civilian workforce back on the job, those employees may not receive their paychecks until after the government shutdown ends and Congress reaches a budget resolution. When they will get paid was the big question on the base.

Marine Base Commanding Officer Colonel Donald Davis told many of his civilian employees he missed them.

"After hearing crickets in the building last week and really kind of struggling to stay afloat, it's a great day to bring back all employees from the base," said Colonel Davis.

But programming management analyst Ali Tillman said it was tough returning to work, because employees have lots of questions. Mainly about when their next paycheck will come.

"We're still incurring expenses," said Tillman. "Still got to pay for gas. Got to pay for food. But we don't know when we're going to get a paycheck.  And we still have rent, a mortgage. All that to pay."

All the employees we talked with said they had mixed emotions returning to work, with this government shutdown.

"We wanted to come back to work," said Public Affairs Specialist Verda Parker. "We want to be able to do our jobs, but we are still not quite as comfortable as we would if we knew when all this was going to end."

Base employees said they are frustrated by the work they see politicians doing in Washington.

"They failed to do their job," said Engineering and Equipment Operator Willie Palmer. If I fail to do my job they would send me to the house and replace me.  With Congress, come election time maybe we can replace them."

The uncertainty in Washington makes it tough for some of the Albany Marine Base employees to get back to work.

"[It's] very distracting," notes Tillman. "I know a lot of people I talked with are more or less thinking about their pay and their personal situation, versus the work that they have to do. It's really a morale killer."

Colonel Davis said it's a learning curve they are having to adjust to. "We'd like to get through it, and get everybody back to a normal work status: when they know they got a paycheck."

All the employees said they were confident they would get a paycheck, but worry when that will be.

Base employees have been furloughed six days already this year.

Colonel Davis thanked South Georgia businesses for showing support for the base employees in what he called "these hard times" and asked that they continue to extend courtesies to the employees when possible.

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