WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement in response to today’s mass furlough of more than 100,000 federal employees:
“Furlough Friday” is a disgrace to our nation. Let no one believe for a moment that this is some kind of four-day weekend or holiday for federal employees forced out of work without pay.
For anyone making light of furloughs, taunting us with the claim that no one will notice, or saying that America is better off when whole agencies of the federal government are closed, consider this: No group of Americans does more to protect public health by enforcing clean air and water standards. No group of Americans does more to obtain housing for low-income or homeless veterans and others in need. No group of Americans does more to equip our troops and facilitate the success of our military. And no group of Americans comes close to having sacrificed as much toward deficit reduction as federal employees, even before sequester.
Furloughing federal employees has never been justifiable for budget reasons; everybody knows that the savings from furloughs are more than offset by the costs they entail.
Memorial Day is a solemn occasion to recall the heroic sacrifice of our military in defense of freedom, but the Friday before is a day of shame for the lawmakers and administration officials who allowed sequester and furloughs to occur.