Crane workers uncertain still on budget cuts

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Officials at southern Indiana's Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center don't know yet how badly the automatic federal budget cuts will hurt its civilian employees.

Crane has more than 4,000 workers who face having to take perhaps 14 unpaid furlough days by the end of September, but that hasn't yet been finalized.

Navy spokesman Ken Cronk tells The Herald-Times that he has not seen more details on the furloughs since the end of March and that no formal notices have been sent to employees.

Mike Davis has worked for the base southwest of Bloomington for more than two decades. He says most workers are upset about seeing their pay cut, although he's not getting too worked up until he learns the furlough plans.

Also, Indiana National Guard members don't face as many furlough days as first expected under automatic federal budget cuts, although its leader says that will still take a toll.

National Guard officials expect about 1,000 technicians among its 14,000 soldiers will face the loss of 14 days of pay starting in June. That's down from the 22 that had been expected.

Indiana Adjutant General Martin Umbarger tells WIBC-FM that the uncertainty over the cuts has been frustrating.

Col. David Augustine tells The Journal Gazette that many pilots with the 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne were grounded for 30 days but have now resumed flying.

Umbarger and several other state military leaders met Wednesday with state and federal elected officials about ways to protect Indiana from federal cuts.

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