CRANE — Workers at Crane received the confirmation they have been waiting for as the Department of Defense announced furlough days will be cut from 11 to six, meaning workers at one of southwestern Indiana's largest employers will only have two more unpaid days to serve.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in a memo released to the public Tuesday the Pentagon has been working towards reducing the number of days through cost savings.
"The military services have been aggressive in identifying ways to hold down costs, and we have been successful in shifting savings (including furlough savings) to meet our highest priority needs," the memo said.
For workers at Crane, the announcement means Aug. 17 will be the last furlough day for civilians at the base. Originally, workers were to face 11 days that started July 8. Workers have mostly taken every Friday off at all Crane installations when possible.
According to the Associated Press, officials at the Pentagon found the necessary $900 million in savings to cut the furlough days. Last week, reports were if the Pentagon could save $500 million, the days would be cut. The approximately 3,800 workers at Crane are part of the 650,000 across the country affected by sequestration and the furloughs.
Officials at the base received the news early Tuesday afternoon and spread the word through social media.
"We welcome the news from the Secretary of Defense (Tuesday) and we are relieved that our valuable workforce will not have to go through the hardship of the full number of furlough days," Thomas Peske, public affairs officer with Crane Army Ammunition Activity said in a statement.
A public affairs official with NSWC Crane could not comment because official confirmation had not been given. A message was also left with the local president of the American Federation of Government Employees. The union had protested the furlough days and lobbied Congress on behalf of Crane workers.