Federal government shutdown impacts JBLM staff

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by JOHN LANGELER / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jlangelerKING5

KING5.com

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 30 at 10:15 PM

SPANAWAY, Wash. -- Several thousand non-essential personnel at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be sent home from work Tuesday, as the impacts of a federal government shutdown take effect.

Roughly 16,000 civilians work at JBLM, and aside from health, safety and other contractors, many employees expect a short day on the job.

"How much more does the federal employee have to endure," JBLM employee Matthew Hines asked rhetorically, "We've already been jerked around."

Hines, his wife Lori and one of their sons all are long-time federal military civilian employees. Earlier in the summer, job furloughs cut $1,300 from their combined incomes, forcing bills to remain unpaid and their mortgage to be refinanced.

"I don't put the blame just on one entity," Lori said, "I blame them all."

Lori has been a federal employee for 35 years, and recalls the last government shutdown. In that case, she recalled, back pay was dispensed. In this situation, she is not so sure.

"I expect to be told Tuesday, 'Lori, as much as you're important to me...you have to go home,'" Hines said.

JBLM released a statement Monday, telling all civilians to report to work Tuesday. It said essential employees would remain at their jobs, but could not elaborate on who would go home.

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