RI Defense Industry Nervous About Budget Cuts

Feb 25, 2013

There’s still time to avoid severe across the board cuts to the federal government, but with a Friday deadline looming for the so-called “sequester” the Rhode Island defense industry is getting nervous. A lot of local jobs are at stake.
Rhode Island stands to lose 2500 defense industry jobs to sequestration, according to the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance.  

The group’s executive director, Molly Magee, says some defense contractors have already started furloughing workers in anticipation of the cuts. "These companies just do not have the cash flow to keep employees on when there’s not work for them. So employers are concerned about their employees, they’re worried about the economy of the state. What’s happening to us here in Rhode Island is happening across the nation."

Magee, has adopted a fatalistic attitude towards the Friday deadline. "The general concensus I’m seeing is that sequester will happen but that then there will be a concerted effort to try to quote unquote “fix it” over the month of March so that we could come out with a solution by then.  The problem is the morale, the planning for the future. It just becomes a very difficult environment to operate in."

A survey conducted by the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance shows that 20 percent of the region’s defense industry workers could lose their jobs at least temporarily with sequestration.

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