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Commissaries change furlough days to Mondays

Mar. 22, 2013 - 01:44PM   |  
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Commissaries will close on Mondays if furloughs are required for DoD civilian employees because of sequestration, according to an agreement negotiated between commissary officials and an employees’ union, the American Federation of Government Employees Council 172, obtained by Military Times.

That’s a change from the previous plan to close the stores on Wednesdays during the furlough period, as stated in a Feb. 21 email to all commissary employees from Defense Commissary Agency director Joseph Jeu. DeCA headquarters will also be closed on Mondays.

Commissary officials will now have to notify other unions that represent employees about the change from Wednesday to Monday, according to one source.

DeCA officials declined to confirm the planned closure days.

The extra closures due to furloughs would not likely start until at least the first full week in May. Furloughs have been delayed for all DoD employees as DoD officials review the funding ramifications of legislation passed this week. DoD officials don’t expect to release furlough notices until around April 5, and furloughs wouldn’t start until 30 days after the notices.

DoD had planned to furlough civilian employees for 22 days in the period ending Sept. 30. There has been no decision about whether the number of furlough days will change. If the furlough starts the week of May 6, there will be 21 weeks before the end of September.

Some commissaries are already closed on Mondays. When that’s the case, the store will be closed on the next business day that it was scheduled to be open, according to the agreement.

Jeu said previously that there may be some limited exceptions at overseas locations where there are enough local national employees to keep a store open. Local national employees overseas are exempted from the furlough.

DeCA officials have taken other cost-cutting measures, such as cancelling all the May case lot sales at both overseas and stateside commissaries, and curtailing official travel that is not considered critical to the agency’s mission.

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