Furloughed Workers Return To Shipyard, Hoping For Back Pay

Oct 7, 2013

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, from Kittery
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

  Twelve hundred nonessential workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard returned to work Monday after being furloughed due to Washington’s partial government shutdown. 

As they walked off the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard after work on Monday, many workers expressed frustration at the federal government for withholding pay, despite the end of furloughs.

Karen Adams works with radioactive material in a lab on the Navy base.  She was not furloughed, but like most federal workers, she hasn’t seen a paycheck since the shutdown began seven days ago.  She says she’s lucky, because her husband’s income can tide them over while they wait for Congress to pass a budget.

But I know a lot of people who have a mortgage and a family and this is the only income for them. I would take their furlough for them, if I could. But it is what it is, you know?

A measure authorizing back pay to furloughed workers is likely once the Government is restored.