Pearl Harbor shipyard workers to return Monday

All civilian employees now exempt to furlough

 UPDATED 6:21 AM HST Oct 07, 2013
HONOLULU -

It's back to work Monday for nearly 3,000 of Hawaii's federal workers, despite the government shutdown.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Saturday the Pay Our Military Act permits the Pentagon to get rid of furloughs for employees who "contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members."

But the order raised a big question for many Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard employees and the union representing them.

"Do we come back, get paid or do we wait until Congress agrees on the budget," said Don Bongo, Hawaii Metal Trades Council President. "All we heard was that all furloughed employees, as well as the excepted employees, will be paid on time."

The order does clear up a financial concern for those excepted employees, which were required to work despite the shutdown, in order to keep things running at the shipyard.

"The excepted workers were kind of concerned that they won't be able to apply for unemployment benefits as the furloughed employees had the ability the file claims for unemployment," Bongo said.

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard workers are advised to monitor the shipyard's Facebook page and contact number for any updates.

Do you want to print this page now?