Sequester cuts have federal workers riled up in Beckley - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Sequester cuts have federal workers riled up in Beckley

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BECKLEY -

Federal cuts from the Sequester are getting many in West Virginia riled up.

Wednesday in Beckley Federal Correctional Officers protested the furloughs that will soon be in place across the country. Federal employees are very concerned about the safety of their staff, inmates and the surrounding communities.

"The community is in danger, they just don't realize it," said one federal worker.

With 6 prisons in the Mountain State, cuts to federal workers fear that could lead to the increased likely hood of inmate violence. They say that endangers the community and could ultimately lead to higher costs for taxpayers and the community. One worker told 59 News it will hurt him personally.

"I'm worried. It's going to hurt. How do you concentrate on doing your job when you're worried about making your mortgage and feeding your family. I don't know how we are going to make it," said secretary and maintenance worker supervisor Tim Williams.

Workers point out that without a paycheck, without them spending money, this not only affects them, but also the community.

"We are looking at losing almost $250 out of our paycheck every time we are furloughed. The impact on the community, once you multiply that out times as many days as we're going to be off and as many employees as there are, you're looking at taking $2 million out of the community. All the businesses, they are going to feel the effects. It may not be immediate and it may not be right now, but they are going to feel it," Williams said.

"I have one young man whose wife has had 26 surgeries since 2009. Now I have to go in and figure out a way to tell them they're losing one entire paycheck. That's 14 days. His budget is not designed for that," said Vice President of prison 404 Max Browning.

They weren't present but Senator Rockefeller and Congressman Rahall offered their support and both said in a letter, read aloud at the protest, that they will fight for this cause.

To voice your concerns you're encouraged to contact your local Senators and Congressmen.