20 Federal Unions Join Forces to Pressure Hill with Grassroots “Furlough Red Zone” Campaign to Stop Defense Furloughs


Contact: William Dougan, Chairman
Phone: (202) 216-4458

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Workers Alliance, a coalition of 20 unions collectively representing over 300,000 federal workers in dozens of departments agencies throughout government, is announcing a coalition-wide campaign to combat the upcoming furlough of more than 650,000 Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employees, starting July 8th.

Beginning today, the FWA will mobilize its members to contact their elected leaders in Congress and urge them to eliminate the 11 unpaid furlough days mandated by the sequester. The coalition will utilize a wide array of tactics to influence elected officials including in-office visits, electronic constituent letters, phone calls, and social media activism. The message: “Federal employees have already sacrificed more than $103 billion in pay and benefits, and 11 unpaid furlough days are the last straw.”

“Behind every good soldier is a team of dedicated Defense civilian employees,” said FWA Chairman William R. Dougan. “These are the dedicated men and women who support the mission of our troops abroad and defend our families against threats at home. There is no good reason to send them home for 11 days of unpaid leave when they want to work. These people need to be on the job – not on the couch.”

It is entirely possible to reduce mandatory furlough days due to a quirk in the sequestration law requiring all accounts at a federal department/agency to be cut equally. Were Congress to grant flexibility to move funds between these accounts, Defense could substantially reduce furlough days – if not eliminate them outright. In fact, Defense has already used this tactic to reduce furlough days from an anticipated 22, to 14, and then 11, where it stands today. The FWA is asking that Congress and Defense work together to finish the job.

“Defense has already cut the number of furlough days in half, and with the right flexibility from Congress they can do it again,” said Dougan. “Eleven furlough days are eleven days too many, and we will continue to speak out so long as these workers are threatened by this senseless policy.”

Said Dougan, continuing:

“The Federal Workers Alliance is asking all federal employees, their families, and communities to take a moment this week to speak up for Defense workers. They deserve nothing less.”

# # #

The Federal Workers Alliance is a coalition of 20 labor unions, collectively representing over 300,000 federal workers government-wide and more than 9 million workers in all sectors of employment. For more information, go to www.federalworkers.org