Crane workers to protest federal budget cuts


Workers at southern Indiana's Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center are planning a protest of furloughs and pay freezes stemming from the automatic federal budget cuts.

The Herald-Times reports Crane workers will protest Friday on private property near the center's main entrance. They oppose a three-year pay freeze and pending 22-day work furloughs planned under the cuts. Crane expects $36 million in funding reductions under the cuts.

At the Crane Naval Support facility near Bedford, roughly 4,000 civilian workers will have their work weeks cut. The cost to Indiana's economy is conservatively estimated at $40 million.

A union represents about 1,500 Crane workers. Union secretary and treasurer Mary Crow has worked at Crane for 29 years and is leading the protest. She says she's never seen an organized worker protest at Crane before.

Crow says Crane employees further the security of the nation and feel slighted by the cuts.

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