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Pearl Harbor shipyard workers spared from Pentagon furloughs

By William Cole

LAST UPDATED: 02:26 p.m. HST, May 14, 2013

<br /><br />U.S. Navy / january 2011<br />The cruiser USS Chosin is the first warship to undergo modernization at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard as part of a 10-year, $1.86 billion Navy overhaul program. Next up was the USS Russell, but that work could instead take place on the West Coast to save money.<br />

The Pentagon is exempting shipyard workers from 11 furlough days that will hit most Defense Department civilian employees between July 8 and the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.

The decision will affect 4,447 civilian workers who work at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, the state’s largest industrial employer, officials said. Another 554 military members who work there are not subject to the furloughs. 

A memo sent out by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today said employees in Navy shipyards will be excepted from furlough “because it would be particularly difficult to make up delays in maintenance work on nuclear vessels and these vessels are critical to mission success.”

About 90 percent of the Pearl Harbor shipyard work is on nuclear Los Angeles-class and Virginia-class attack submarines.

Hagel directed defense managers today to prepare to furlough most Defense Department civilian employees for the 11 days due to budgetary shortfalls.

After weeks of debate and number-crunching, the Defense Department announced plans today to furlough about 680,000 of its civilian employees for 11 days through the end of this fiscal year, allowing only limited exceptions for the military to avoid or reduce the unpaid days off.

During a town hall meeting with about 6,400 department personnel in Northern Virginia, Hagel was direct: “I tried everything. We did everything we could not to get to this day this way. But that’s it. That’s where we are,” the Associated Press reported.

The furlough notices are expected to begin going out May 28, and workers will have several days to respond or seek appeals.Officials said the furloughs will save the department about $1.8 billion.

Congressionally mandated automatic budget cuts initially forced the Pentagon to warn that the bulk of its 800,000 civilians would be forced to take 22 unpaid days off — one in each of the last 22 weeks of the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. When lawmakers approved a new spending bill at the end of March, they gave the Pentagon greater latitude to find savings, and the furlough days were cut to 14.

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allie wrote:
good news for the economy!
on May 14,2013 | 01:43PM
HD36 wrote:
Not the US economy. It's been proven with 100% accuracy over the last 200 years in every country, that when governments print money out of thin air, inflation always occurs soon after. The bad part is that inflation may show up in anything but your wages. The only way to get the inflation genie back into the bottle is to cut government borrowing and raise interest rate like Reagan did.
on May 14,2013 | 03:33PM
OldDiver wrote:
Sorry but the government spending and inflation relationship is one that only exist on Fox News. It is a false talking point republicans use when trying an cut Medicare and Social Security.
on May 14,2013 | 03:44PM
HD36 wrote:
It's been proven to happen in Germany, Britain, Japan, Argentina, Brazil and many other places throughout history. Don't make me look up the dates.
on May 14,2013 | 04:41PM
badcard36 wrote:
Japan? Really? OK look up the dates. They have been in stagflation for 20 years because of austerity. The only reason the economy is starting to pull itself up is with the weakening of the Yen thereby making exports cheaper. This has been accomplished through direct government stimulus (printing of money as you will). A strong currency doesn't always mean a strong economy. The Japanese are printing money like mad to get out of years of economic policy that has given them record unemployment and a crushingly strong currency that kills growth in an export driven economy.
on May 14,2013 | 04:59PM
HD36 wrote:
The yen was about 365 to the dollar in the 70's now its around 100 which means it actually strenthened nearly 300% against the dollar, or the dollar weakened 300% vs the yen since the US went off the gold standard on August 17th 1971. The symptoms of stagflation are high inflation rates and high unemployment. A strong currency leads to a strong economy. The US dollar gained the status of the world's reserve currency because it was backed by gold at the Bretton Woods agreement . An economy can have high unemployment and high inflation... again stagflation.
on May 14,2013 | 06:21PM
false wrote:
Hey, I remember when it was 2 yen per dollar.
on May 14,2013 | 07:54PM
badcard36 wrote:
The Reinhart-Rogoff paper has been de-bunked as false due to basic Excel spreadsheet errors. This is the same paper cited by many a politician and talking head regarding the same issue you're putting forth (public debt vs GDP). Inflation is always better than a Depression (which is where we would've been if nothing was done). We would have gotten there a lot faster too if austerity actually was implemented. This isn't politics, its tested economics. Do your homework, even acclaimed Harvard economics professors get things wrong. If you need more proof just look at how austerity is "helping" Greece, Italy, the UK, etc......
on May 14,2013 | 04:17PM
HD36 wrote:
Nothing to do with that paper. Milton Friedman proved it with 100% accuracy. If you could just print money and become richer Zimbawe would be the richest country in the world.
on May 14,2013 | 04:43PM
HD36 wrote:
We are in a global currency war, although the mainstream media doesn't look at it like that because the United States is the largest currency manipulator. The only thing holding this economy together is that interest rates are near 0%. The only thing keeping them at 0% is the Federal Reserve buying $85 billion in Treasury bonds a month. If they moved up just 1% , the interest payments on the national debt would be greater than the cost of the Vietnam War. If they move to their historical average of about 6%, the interest payments alone would cost more than all the wars combined. So why don't we just have the Fed buy bonds forever and keep interest rates low? Because hyperinflation would be the worst case scenario. They tried that in Germany, which gave rise to Hitler, which gave rise to WWII.
on May 14,2013 | 06:32PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
It was all a show. Obama talks tough and then doesn't follow through.
on May 14,2013 | 02:29PM
FrankieT wrote:
Oh shut up
on May 14,2013 | 02:46PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Actually dbtm, Obama Did Follow thru and said "NO GOP, no military cuts on MY watch"!!!!
on May 14,2013 | 02:59PM
HD36 wrote:
The sequestration was just a show, put on by the government to pretend they are fiscally prudent. However, the cut was only a decrease in the rate of spending from ablout 18% to 15%. They say the easiest way to steal is through creative accounting.
on May 14,2013 | 02:59PM
OldDiver wrote:
They were real cuts. The decrease in the rate of increase is a Fox News fantasy. The cuts to the number of air traffic controllers was real.
on May 14,2013 | 03:46PM
HD36 wrote:
The $995 billion Sequester cut is actually a $110 billion spending increase. .. Forbes February 2013
on May 14,2013 | 04:50PM
Nayster wrote:
Yes, totally agree. Everyone should take the hit to so called "helping out the economy". On top of no furloughs they are raking in tons of overtime for sitting around. We took the hit for 4 years and federal...zero!
on May 14,2013 | 03:59PM
konakeoni99 wrote:
Where are you getting these "facts" from?
on May 14,2013 | 06:53PM
FrankieT wrote:
Oh yes, great news for the economy
on May 14,2013 | 02:46PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Thank You Uncle Dans.
on May 14,2013 | 02:56PM
dlum003 wrote:
Does this include Public Works Center?
on May 14,2013 | 04:03PM
iwanaknow wrote:
More belt tightening is needed everywhere.
on May 14,2013 | 04:55PM
WEATHER wrote:
Boy, this conversation wandered so far off the topic it's pathetic. But then Star Advertiser missed the bulk of the point as well. About 5,000 local workers exempted from the furlough. The other 15,000 or so will be furloughed. Period. That's 20% out of every pay check that won't go into the businesses of the local economy. Pay checks of local families that stretch just to make ends meet like everybody else.And the last federal civil service pay raise was in January 2010. Inouye, Akaka, Hanabusa, and Hirono all voted for the Budget Control Act and Congress rejected the Presidents budget submission last year that would've met the mandates of the BCA. So Congress has no one to blame but themselves, and characterizing the loss to families and the local economy any other way is, at best, disingenuous.
on May 14,2013 | 06:33PM
konakeoni99 wrote:
Excellent post Weather.
on May 14,2013 | 06:54PM
HD36 wrote:
Most people don't realize that when the government spends $2 trillion but only takes in $1 trillion in taxes, the other $1 trillion is payed back through an inflation tax. The government has to print the extra $1 trillion, either calling it a stimulus or quantitative easing or some fancy name. Someone has to pay, and it isn't the tooth fairy.
on May 14,2013 | 06:57PM
WEATHER wrote:
Boy, this conversation wandered so far off the topic it's pathetic. But if you want to talk about "the government", put a face on who that is. It is our elected representatives in the House and Senate that send the proposed budget to the President, who then signs it. They are supposed to be submitting legislature and budgets that represent their constituents will. So if you don't like this state of affairs and haven't sent one of your federally elected officials an e-mail or letter to let them know, then you've disenfranchised yourself from chiming in here. And yes, I've sent correspondence to all of my federally elected officials, including the President.
on May 14,2013 | 07:05PM
HD36 wrote:
Ultimately, you're right. We elect the politicians who make the policies. There's only one small problem. No politician would get elected on a ticket that I'm gonna raise your taxes. So the best thing that can happen for the government is to print money and tax us through inflation. That way they can say, I didn't vote for any tax increase. If we adjusted their salary and reduced it by the real rate of inflation, I think they'd sing another tune about printing money.
on May 14,2013 | 09:07PM
Hawaiians wrote:
Really I thought the tooth fairy had this!
on May 14,2013 | 08:51PM
HD36 wrote:
While most people suffer economically because of inflation, there are certain segments that prosper: The wealthy top 5% who saw their net worth increase over 29% since 2006 while most saw an 11% decrease; exporters like Boeing, Catapillar and Microsoft; the government, which can pay back the its debt with printed money, and people who have long term fixed loans at low interest rates. However, this has caused the US to have the largest wealth gap of any developed country; and it's one of the major causes of civil unrest.
on May 14,2013 | 09:15PM
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