The Red River Army Depot recently released 340 employees from the workforce because of a decrease in workload. Now, the Bowie County installation is making plans for other adjustments because of budget cuts set to take effect on Friday.
"Sequestration at this point is not here to close Red River," says Col. Doyle Lassitter, Commander of the Red River Army Depot.
Lassitter says the federal budget crisis will not do away with the depot. But, if a compromise is not reached, employees will see a decrease in work hours.
"Potentially 16 hours per pay period, which could last the next 22 weeks, starting after the 15th of April," Lassitter says.
That will be a 20 percent cut in pay. There are nearly 4,600 federal employees at the depot, which is near Hooks, Texas.
Susan Smith works in an office at the depot and has been on the job for 8 years. She says the past few weeks have been stressful for depot employees.
"I am very concerned. I am concerned personally for the financial hit that we could possibly take. I am concerned for my community and what it could do to all the other businesses in our area," Smith says.
Says Lassiter: "We are doing all we can to minimize the impact on our workforce in coordination with the state of Texas and Arkansas."
Lassiter also says that, this year, they expect to do 3.5 million work house. They also hope to fulfill that number regardless of a budget compromise.
"We will continue to be the premier depot supporting the war fighter-producing wheel and tract vehicles here at Red River Army Depot," Lassiter says.
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