Feedback: Fort Drum Workers Fight Furloughs


The mission: to appeal what many people at Fort Drum say are unfair cuts - or furloughs.

The furloughs are the 20 percent salary reductions for federal workers.

It affects a lot of people on the government's payroll.

"I've been an employee for 26 years here on Fort Drum, and I don't know how much know, it affects you personally and professionally," said Kathy Boyanski, a member of Local 400 of American Federation of Government Employees.

So how do you appeal something so complex?

That's what Local 400 of the AFGE is helping its union members understand.

It requires a lot of paperwork.

But if successful, it could mean a check for any lost income due to furloughs.

"If the appeals are upheld, people could be reimbursed," said Loren Zeilnhofer, Local 400 1st vice president.

It sounds pretty good, but there's a catch.

It could take years for the government to process the appeals, because those doing it are also furloughed and only working four days a week.

" I'm not surprised that it'll take long. But the point is this could go on for ten years that we're furloughed or possibly losing our jobs. So a year of protesting and speaking our opinions definitely outweighs ten years of wondering if we have a job or not," said union member Tracey Jones.

And that's the bottom line.

The workers are appealing what they say are unnecessary and devastating cuts - ones they'll challenge until the end.

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Saturday, December 10, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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