Worker furloughs near at Indiana’s Crane base

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Officials at southern Indiana's Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center say one-day-a-week unpaid furloughs are about to start for its thousands of civilian workers.

Base officials told the Washington Times-Herald that the furloughs caused by automatic federal budget cuts will start the week of July 8 and continue through September. The base's nearly 3,100 Navy employees and 800 Army workers will see a 20-percent pay cut during that time.

The American Federation of Government Employees local union that represents Crane workers argues the furloughs won't save money and will hurt projects done at the base southwest of Bloomington. The union said the furlough of Crane police officers will force a gate closing, leading to U.S. 231 traffic backups.

Work at Crane ranges from defusing old bombs to developing jamming devices.

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