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Union warns of 'vicious cycle' over possible Pentagon layoffs

Aug. 26, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
By JIM McELHATTON   |   Comments

The head of a union representing civilian defense workers is urging Pentagon budget officials to take aim at contract spending, reacting to a recent report that sequestration could cost more than 6,000 civilian workers their jobs.

“When DoD says it’s going to fire 6,300 federal employees in FY14 to accommodate sequestration, don’t believe it,” J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said Monday.

“Experience tells us that those workers will be replaced by far more expensive military and contractor personnel whose costs will be so high, the department will end up laying off more people in a vicious cycle of irrationality and dishonesty.”

Cox’ sharp comments follow a report by Bloomberg on a Pentagon planning document saying DoD may have to fire 6,272 civilian workers if sequestration cuts $52 billion from the fiscal 2014 budget.

Pentagon spokesman Bill Urban said in an email he could not comment on the report, but added that “no decisions have been made to date regarding Fiscal 2014 impacts to the DoD workforce.”

The Bloomberg report said major weapons systems wouldn’t be targeted for extensive reductions. However, sequestration would cut procurement and research by 16 percent, with a 12 percent cut from operations, maintenance and military construct, according to the report.

The report also said the document containing the details was stamped “draft/predecisional”.

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