One of the biggest challenges for the U.S. military is hitting home in Anniston. And it's coming not from the front line, but from the bottom line. Big military spending cuts may happen in just a few weeks... that's if Congress and the White House can't agree on a federal budget. The cuts could cost the military 46-billion dollars this year alone..
Wednesday, a rally was held in Anniston in hopes of saving 300 plus jobs at the army depot that could be affected.
"Everybody's livelihood is affected." Jason Boatman has worked at the Anniston Army Depot for more than eight years, but his job as an artillery mechanic could be on the line. "We need the people in the ABC 33/40 viewing area to hound the Congressman, call him and tell him they need to pass the budget and save our jobs."
Military cuts could happen in a few weeks and more than 300 term or temporary employees could be cut at the depot. Union leaders pleaded with workers to get petition signatures to help save their jobs. Those petitions will be taken to Washington next week. Shrene Funderburg, President of AFGE Local 1945 says "We need them to vote for the budget that the President has, so we can keep our terms.
"This initiative is not just a local initiative, it's across the nation and I think it's time you stop playing games and get on with the business of this country, pass a budget." Everett Kelley with the American Federation of Government Employees believes permanent employees could also face cuts after the first round.
In a statement from the Anniston Army Depot, no employment decisions have been made. It's continuing to receive guidance from higher headquarters as funding and mission requirements are large parts of the decision. Temporary appointments are set to expire March 30th.
Boatman hopes to stay at the depot. "I have a mortgage to pay I got bills to pay like every other working America."
Here's a closer look at what some of the military cuts could mean. A pay cut may be on the way for people in uniform. 800-thousand civilians working for the defense department could be furloughed for more than three weeks and the Navy may have to take at least one aircraft carrier out of service because it can't pay for fuel and maintenance.