CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - It was back to work Monday for 270 workers at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, but some others at the base still aren’t being allowed back on the job.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued an order, which was signed by President Obama, that recalled some 300,000 furloughed civilian defense employees; in response to a law called the “Pay our Military Act.” The order included 270 employees at Westover that were furloughed for the first week of the government shutdown.
Hollie Warren, the owner of the Homestyle Cafe, a popular breakfast spot for Westover workers, told 22News that she’s relieved to hear the civilian employees are back.
“I've seen a few (workers) this morning, so hopefully things pick up this week,” Warren said.
Though they may be back to work, some problems still remain. According to Lt. James Bishop of the 439th Airlift Wing’s Public Affairs Office, the workers who returned Monday still do not have official word from Washington as to whether or not they will be paid for the furloughed days, or for the time they are back to work.
Additionally, more than 400,000 furloughed workers remain home because of continuing budget disagreements in Congress, and Bishop says that dozens of Air Force Reservists at the base have yet to be returned to duty.
While there seems to be no end in sight to the ongoing shutdown, the U.S. Senate could act this week on a measure that passed the House unanimously on Saturday, which would provide back pay to federal workers furloughed in the shutdown.