• October 31, 2014

Federal employees protest outside Fort Hood’s main gate

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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 4:30 am

FORT HOOD — Federal employees donned neon green T-shirts and waved signs outside the entrance to Fort Hood on Wednesday in hopes of gaining the attention of lawmakers to stop a potential 20 percent pay cut they may receive next month through furloughs.

Because of sequestration and the continuing budget resolution, the Defense Department may have to furlough its roughly 800,000 civilian employees to make up for the loss of funds.

More than 50 employees stood near the Marvin Leath Visitor Control Center during their lunch hour shouting phrases such as “Say no to furloughs,” and “Don’t touch my dough,” as drivers in passing cars honked and waved.

“We want to send a message to Congress that they need to stop this sequestration. It makes no sense,” said Cheryl Eliano, president of the local chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents about 6,000 Fort Hood employees — all of whom could be furloughed two days per pay period beginning in April. That’s a 20 percent cut in salary.

Federal employees have already contributed $103 billion through Congress voting to cut their pay and deny raises, Eliano said.

“We can’t sacrifice any more. We need the rich and big corporations to do their part,” she said. “We can’t afford that.”

John Patrick, secretary-treasurer for the Texas branch of the AFL-CIO, an umbrella organization for unions, outlined three actions Congress should take, projecting his voice above the crowd with a megaphone: repeal, not replace sequestration, protect safety net programs and close tax loopholes.

“The three things above should be a priority, not sequestration,” Patrick said. “These cuts are already costing jobs and damaging the economy. ... It was Congress who created this mess and they have the authority to make it go away.”

U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, who was mentioned on many of the demonstrators’ signs, responded to the event via email and said the fault of sequestration lies with the Senate and the president. The House passed two bills to replace sequestration, “both of which have been blocked by the Democrat Senate and a threatened veto by (President Barack) Obama,” he said.

“These protesters should be calling the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to demand the Senate pass either of the House replacement bills,” Carter said. “As to these groups demanding Congress raise spending and taxes as a solution, they seem to have forgotten we’re in this mess because Obama and his Democrats raised spending and taxes to begin with.”

The Defense Department is expected to send notices for furloughs within weeks.

Picketer Carolyn Martinez, a secretary in the Fort Hood chaplain’s office and a 16-year government employee, is preparing for the worst. She suffers from multiple sclerosis and her husband also works for the government and faces potential furlough. The couple was to close on a house next month, but may have to rethink their options.

“I was hoping our lawmakers could compromise and think about the good of the people. Not a few of the people, but all, and come together for people like me,” she said. “Twenty percent may not seem like a lot, but for people working here, it’s a whole lot.”

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10 comments:

  • fraar posted at 7:51 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    fraar Posts: 16

    Dr. Strangelove...I thought that I had escaped reading your comments (Huffington Post) only to find you reading a local paper. You should be crying that we have an 'obstructionist' GOP and you are paying for their salary! Nice try.

     
  • fraar posted at 7:49 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    fraar Posts: 16

    Arie08...Thanks for stating the truth. I a tired of 'Obama' bashing. People keep forgetting that we are still paying, and will be paying for years to come for the 2 unfunded wars. And who exactly wanted those?

     
  • fraar posted at 7:46 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    fraar Posts: 16

    I agree. Be grateful if you have a job. Not a single person is guaranteed a job. I know.

     
  • fraar posted at 7:46 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    fraar Posts: 16

    Oh, really???? These protesters should be contacting their 'do-nothing, obstructionist' GOP. Are you familiar with the Constitution? Know how it works? Who makes the laws? Who signs? Who has the 'Power of the Purse'? Who oversees?

     
  • Dr Strangelove posted at 8:09 am on Fri, Mar 22, 2013.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 527

    Thank you Sabot and Heat you saved me some typing. Aries08 you’ve proved my point. In the real world this happens all the time it’s normal procedure. I started being assigned to Fort Hood in 1976 coming from overseas so I know how the civilians work on Fort Hood if The Great Place was a normal civilian business it would be bankrupt. Don’t forget the sequester was Obama’s idea. This guy has out spent all the Presidents combined. When I see some Union thug at the protest I have no compassion I’m from Michigan and look what unions have done to that State. You talk to the normal working person in Central Texas they don’t feel for sorry for you people. Try this and Scott & White you’d be fired.

     
  • Sabot and Heat posted at 3:07 pm on Thu, Mar 21, 2013.

    Sabot and Heat Posts: 2

    I guess according to your post that even though Obama is in his second term, we are still going to blame Bush for anything that the President fails at. Before Obama took office the economy was in much better shape than it is now. An army retiree not in uniform is afforded the same freedom of speech as their civilian brothers and sisters so please tell us how his opinion as a civilian is Illegal? Obama told the unions that if they supported the Affordable Care Act they would not have to have Obamacare but everyone else has to. Refrence:Culture of Corruption. After the President lying about Benghazi in the last debate, I don't believe anything he says.
    The President has cut Tricare benefits but a unionized civilian defense worker will not see any cuts in their health benefits. Maybe the Military should have joined a union? Not.

     
  • Aries08 posted at 11:09 am on Thu, Mar 21, 2013.

    Aries08 Posts: 1

    The Economy was already in bad shape before President Obama was even elected so why constantly blame him for everything that he is trying to fix... Oh and you say that you are a member of the Army? i hope you realize that you bashing YOUR Commander in Chief is illegal but there is no way you would ever put your real name to your post. Next you stated that your wife works at a place, and she told that Friday are the slow days. I would like to correct that statement because I work at Ft hood the hospital to be exact and my unit is a 24/7 unit it is open everyday. We stay busy all day everyday out of the week. Just because your wife has a slow day does not mean everywhere else has one.

     
  • Eliza posted at 10:39 am on Thu, Mar 21, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 835

    @ U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, who was mentioned on many of the demonstrators’ signs, responded to the event via email and said the fault of sequestration lies with the Senate and the president. The House passed two bills to replace sequestration, “both of which have been blocked by the Democrat Senate and a threatened veto by (President Barack) Obama,” he said.
    “These protesters should be calling the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to demand the Senate pass either of the House replacement bills,” Carter said. “As to these groups demanding Congress raise spending and taxes as a solution, they seem to have forgotten we’re in this mess because Obama and his Democrats raised spending and taxes to begin with.”
    -----------


    During their days off ,I would suggest the people involved , to do what Rep Carter stated above,And stop falling for false information fed to them by the democratic admin.and the hot shot union leaders , who seem not to be suffering their own selves.

    What has happened is Obama never thought once he threatened sequestration that the republican party would call his bluff and not bend to his will as has happened in the past.
    Now that its come to put up or shut up, and the Republicans stood their ground, Obama and his party have decided to make the people suffer because they're ticked off at those Republicans.--- That's how they play out their anger. Haven't you already saw them in action? Remember,shutting down the white house to the little kid and their spring break trips, and then saying,It wasn't me that did it ,It was THEM !
    Haven't you learned in the 4 + years of experiencing this group and how they work ?

    The rich and the amount of tax they pay have no call in this situation,How do you think these people got rich,by having jobs to do, or products to manufacture,to do that they need workers.,they need you. It makes no sense to try and blame the people who have made the jobs for any ones suffering, but the ones who have their own self interest at heart and are causing that suffering .

    Let this situation be a lesson,when better days do come,save some money,as much as possible for those rainy days ahead. As long as there is a liberal leader and a liberal powered senate in control,we never know what is going to be the next chaos. Our better days will come but,there will be more hell before they do.

    Don't be so easily influenced and go along with anyone who has an involvement that may work toward your demise, figuratively speaking).

     
  • Bubba posted at 9:08 am on Thu, Mar 21, 2013.

    Bubba Posts: 727

    I was completely sequestered on 30 Sep 12. Be thankful you still have jobs.

     
  • Dr Strangelove posted at 7:54 am on Thu, Mar 21, 2013.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 527

    Boo Hoo! You people that voted for Obama I’m laughing at you. When I retired from the military I wanted nothing to do with Fort Hood this is the reason why. Most civilians that work in the real world don’t really feel ya. This is normal in the real world my wife works at a place this is the slow season they don’t work on Fridays. Just by your statement, “Don’t touch our dough” shows just how out of touch you people are with the real world. It’s not your money it’s the American peoples money. Take your unions and go away we don’t want you here.

     

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