Employees at the Department of Defense Finance and Accounting Service in Limestone are holding their breath. They were notified earlier this week that if the government shut down lasts, they could be temporarily out of work after next Friday.
Holli Landry, Local 294 President of DFAS Limestone says, “they’re thinking about, what are we gonna do? Concerned about families and concerned about others so, the morale has really took a turn for the worst.”
Over 500 employees work at the DFAS office in Limestone. They got the word via e-mail on Wednesday stating that current projections show there’s only enough money to pay them for about another week. This means these workers would join the hundreds of Mainers and that are already not getting paid, which would affect families all over the county.
Landry says, “we’re encouraging employees to apply for unemployment, a lot of them are already working second jobs..I see myself as a single mom, doing the same thing, going out and getting another job until we can go back full force.”
Limestone’s DFAS office is one of just five in the United States. They do accounting for the United States Air Force. Landry says the people at DFAS just had six furlough days in July and they’ve not gotten a pay raise in three years. She says at this point she’s not sure if they do shut down, if some people in critical positions may have to come in to work. Right now there are so many unknowns – but she says a shutdown here would be a hard hit to the community.
“We’re not going to be able to spend like we are normally doing ,” she says. “We’re going to have to make sure we’re on budget and that’s going to affect the surrounding communities also and the small businesses out there.”
She hopes more than anything that Congress can come to an agreement not only to keep people here in the county employed, but to put all the federal workers across the country back to work.