Shutdown hits Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

8:41 PM, Oct 1, 2013   |    comments
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KITTERY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Several thousand Maine people are out of work tonight, because of the federal government shutdown.

Congress hasn't been able to agree on a budget, so most federal workers were sent home. And the biggest impact so far is being felt by workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.

The Shipyard is the biggest single federal workplace in the state. And unlike Bath Iron Works,. where most people work for a private contractor, most of the people here are employed by the Department of Defense. And close to 2,000 have been sent home on furlough.

Workers were told to report as usual this morning. But when they got here, those considered non-essential were told to pack up and leave. About three thousand were kept on the job, repairing submarines for the Navy. But they won't get paid for that work until the shutdown is over. And that has workers and their union leaders angry.

The union leaders say workers have been told that those who are required to keep working will eventually get paid for that work but they don't know when. That all depends on Congress.

At Bath iron Works, we're told about 250 Navy employees have also been furloughed.

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