Federally subcontracted cleanup workers at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant are facing furloughs in the wake of a partial government shutdown.
Local United Steelworkers Union Vice President Jim Key says Swift & Staley mechanical workers received 51 furlough notices from the Department of Energy this month.
LATA Environmental Services and Babcock and Wilcox Company may also face cutbacks due to the unfunded DOE. Key says the result will be more Paducah workers going unpaid because of a Congressional quarrel.
"Congressional officials that we have elected to represent us need to quit this elementary school first-grade-vs.-second-second-grade mentality and do their damn jobs so that we can do ours," he said.
Key says, because subcontractors are not federal employees, furloughs provide them no off-work benefits or guaranteed return of employment.
Because of that, he says union cleanup workers furloughed are being encouraged to apply for unemployment compensation for now.