Local federal employees rally against sequestration - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Local federal employees rally against sequestration

BECKLEY (WVVA) -- "Sequestration has got to go" -- that was the message at a rally federal prison employees had today. The group gathered in front of the federal courthouse in Beckley to show the public how the cuts will effect them and trickle down to hurt their communities. If lawmakers do not find a final solution by April 21, work furloughs in federal prisons across the country will take place, meaning employees will be forced to take a day of unpaid leave every pay period.

"When the government takes the money from you, it's hard to make your mortgage payment, credit card payments. It's hard to go out to dinner, go to the movies. You just can't do some of things anymore because you've got other things you've gotta worry about," says Tim Williams, local union secretary.

All together, it'll be about two million dollars annually that these federal workers say they won't have to put back into their communities.

Plus they're concerned about safety on the job.

"We've had three staff members killed in the last month in the line of duty and that's with us being staffed and operating at normal levels," says Max Browning, vice president of FCI Beckley.

These protesters have a clear message for lawmakers.

"Get off your rears and come together on a balanced budget number one that benefits America as a whole, but take care of your civil service," says Charlie Yates, president of AFGE Local 480.

"Call your senators, call your congressmen, make your voice heard because it's going to hurt everybody," adds Williams.

Today's rally was one of a hundred that federal employees held nationwide.

New out of DC Wednesday evening, the Senate approved legislation that will fund the government through the end of September, avoiding a partial federal shutdown and softening spending cuts. It'll now be turned over to the House of Representatives.

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