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Naval Shipyard Workers Rally Against Cuts

Roger Wood

Portsmouth Navy Yard workers and their supporters are rallying to oppose furloughs they face because of federal budget cuts.

The Thursday afternoon rally at Prescott Park in Portsmouth drew about 100 people, and was organized by the Metal Trades Council, the union that represents most of the approximately 5000 workers at the yard.  Among the speakers was John Joyal of Somersworth, a long-time employee and outspoken critic of sequestration.

"What the U.S. Congress needs to do is to grow up, put their differences aside, go into a room and perform the people’s business just like the people in this island do every single day."

One worker, Tina Shaw, of Eliot Maine has worked at the yard for nine years.  She says that forced furloughs will hurt.

"I’ve got two young children, so it’s going to affect, my time with them, money wise I’m going to have to figure out how to get them to school and how to feed them and everything."

Another employee said that she will get by even with the furloughs, but is concerned about the future of the submarine fleet if budget cuts slow down repairs. 

So far, workers have not been officially notified when the one day per week lay-offs will start.