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Back Local News Federal furlough sets in, 200 Guam employees affected

Federal furlough sets in, 200 Guam employees affected

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THE Defense Department’s 11-day sweeping federal furlough set in yesterday and will continue until the end of the fiscal year, affecting more than 16,000 civilian employees working at commissaries operating in 13 countries and two U.S. territories including Guam.

The furlough, which affects 247 commissaries, was the result of budget cuts, also referred to as sequestration.

The Joint Region Marianas (JRM) Public Affairs Office earlier said the commissaries on Naval Base Guam and Andersen Air Force Base will be closed on Mondays until Sept. 30.

The Guam commissary employs about 200 civilians who will lose two days of pay in each two-week pay period throughout the furlough period. The furlough translates to a 20 percent pay cut.

In an earlier press release, JRM said the Monday closures will be in addition to any day stores are routinely closed.

The plan was announced by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in May.

The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5 percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Patrons save an average of 30 percent or more on their purchases compared to commercial prices, according to the release.

On Guam, Coast360 Federal Credit Union earlier announced a program that will help alleviate the financial distress of its members who are affected by the furlough.

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