Union rallies against furloughs at Fort Benning

More than a dozen American Federation of Government Employees and supporters waved signs today along Fort Benning Road, voicing their opposition to budget cuts that could furlough 4,100 Defense Department workers at Fort Benning.

Employees are still waiting for an official date to begin one-day furlough per week for 22 weeks. In a move to slash $85 billion from the budget, the cuts are expected to cost each employee roughly 20 percent of salary between April and the end of September.

“Everybody is going to be hurt by this,” said Kelly Wahler, a 17-year part-time employee at the Post Commissary. “People should have taken care of this so it didn’t happen.”

Across the board cuts went into effect March 1 after the White House and Congress couldn’t agree on a budget reduction plan. Wahler, a cashier at the commissary, said she received an e-mail today from the Defense Commissary Agency in San Antonio, Texas, about her furlough occurring between April 21 and Sept. 30.

She hadn’t figured out what it would cost her in pay. “It’s scary to figure that out,” she said.