NFFE to Fight New Legislation to Cut 115,000 Defense Jobs


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Just when it looked like federal employees were momentarily free from congressional attacks, a group of six Republican lawmakers dropped a bombshell. Earlier this week, Rep. Ken Calvert (Republican, California) introduced the Rebalance for an Effective Defense Uniform and Civilian Employees Act (REDUCE Act), H.R. 4257, which calls for cutting nearly 115,000 civilian jobs from the Department of Defense (DoD) – 15 percent of the overall civilian workforce.

They might be calling it the REDUCE Act, but we are calling it what it really is: the “REDUCE our military effectiveness Act,” because that is exactly what this bill would do – gut the civilian defense workforce and reduce the effectiveness of our military.

The introduction of this legislation puts federal employees back on the chopping block after several years of targeted cuts to federal jobs, pay and benefits. This bill would not only destroy 115,000 jobs around the country, but it could decimate our country’s military strength and effectiveness. Eliminating 15 percent of the workforce would put unprecedented strains our defense infrastructure – strains that we cannot even begin to understand the practical implications of. But one thing is for sure: our men and women in uniform would feel the impact.

This legislation would also harm local economies around the country. Many communities rely on local military installations as significant economic drivers for the regions. Military installations provide good-paying federal jobs, and in turn those workers and their families support local businesses. A draconic 15 percent workforce cut would not only adversely impact the lives of those defense workers directly affected, but it would create a ripple effect in local economies throughout the country where those employees live and work.

“We are shocked that any member of Congress could come out in support of this harmful legislation that will so clearly gut out military effectiveness and add to the unemployment problem in this country,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “Nobody who supports this legislation can say with credibility that they support the U.S. military. We are going to fight this legislation because it is the wrong path for our country and it will once again make hard-working federal employees scapegoats for the inability of Congress to operate effectively.”

Every NFFE-IAM member is encouraged to contact his or her member of Congress to urge them to oppose this harmful legislation. If you are a civilian employee and do not want Congress destroying your job and well-being, call your Representative and tell them to oppose H.R. 4257, the “Reduce (our military effectiveness) Act.”

When contacting lawmakers, be sure to do so as a constituent, on your own time, using your own phone.