Furloughed civilian employees in NJ return to work
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Most of the 3,350 furloughed federal civilian employees at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and 947 others at New Jersey National Guard facilities have returned to work as the government shutdown continues, officials said.
The Guard workers came back Tuesday, Joint Base employees Monday.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel rescinded furloughs imposed Oct. 1, saying the employees contributed to military readiness.
Nationally, nearly all of the 350,000 who were sent home without pay last week were recalled by the Defense Department.
At the Joint Base, the employees work with the main 305th Air Mobility Command, the 87th Air Base Wing, 621st Air Contingency Response Team, and the Air Force Expeditionary Center.
They support missions of national security and public safety, officials said.
The popular commissaries on the McGuire-Dix portion of the base in Burlington County and on the Lakehurst side in Ocean County also have reopened for military personnel and retirees.
Because of the restocking disruption over the last week, some groceries may be unavailable until new supplies are delivered Wednesday and Thursday, officials said Tuesday.
Many other civilian workers were not affected by the furlough because their jobs had been considered essential. A total of 6,700 civilians are employed at the base.
It was not clear whether they would receive full, partial, or any back pay for the days they were furloughed.
Some workers were encouraged by the passage Saturday of a Republican bill in the House to reimburse employees once they return to work.
The measure has to be passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama.