Robins Air Force Base Workers Face Shutdown

5:42 PM, Apr 8, 2011   |    comments
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A government shutdown would impact employees at Robins Air Force Base, but just how much, will depend on their positions.

Public Affairs Spokeswoman Capt. Pamela Stauffer said military and critical civilian employees will work, while others will be furloughed.

In the event of a shutdown, Stauffer wrote, "Some civilian members of Robins' workforce - primarily those in administrative and other support positions - would be furloughed. These employees are being advised today (Friday) by their supervisors, who are also explaining to them how the furloughs would be administered."

In a statement to 13WMAZ, Stauffer said, "Employees who work in certain excepted functions such as national security and safety would continue to work. Most members whose positions are financed by other than appropriated funds would also continue to work."

Stauffer said if there is a shutdown, "Some activities at Robins may reduce their levels of support or hours of operation. However, most are planning to operate as usual. This includes the Robins Air Force Base Commissary, Army and Air Force Exchange activities, such as the base exchange and base gas station, and the Museum of Aviation. "

She said the base gate would stay on a normal operating schedule.

People dependent on Robins for their income talked about the possible impact of a shutdown, Friday.

At Roberto's Mexican Restaurant on First Street, communications supervisor Joann Rabe said everyone at work and at lunch was talking about a shutdown.

Rabe said, "Everywhere you go, you go the bathroom, the ladies are talking about it. You go to lunch, and everybody's talking about it. If you're standing outside smoking a cigarette, everybody is talking about it. "

She says everyone wants to know how it will affect their paycheck. Rabe said, "How they are going to meet their requirements for their bills."

According to a Department of Defense released Thursday, civilian and military employees who are not furloughed will eventually be paid. Furloughed employees would not be paid, unless the budget includes money for that jobs, when lawmakers reach an agreement.

Robins business development employee, Susan Lower said, "I don't like thinking that I might have to work or not work, and not get paid. It is a concern, because our bills will keep coming, even though our paycheck won't."

Roberto's owner John Mitchell said a shutdown would impact his business, too. He is only open during lunch Monday through Friday, when base employees are at work.

Mitchell said, "Our schedule operates with their schedule. Right now, if the base is closed, we close."

He said he believes his business could survive a shutdown for a few weeks, but it "would hurt."

About 15,000 civilians work at Robins Air Force Base, and about 6,000 members of the military.

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