SOUTHPORT, NC (WECT) – Nearly 250 Civilian Army Employees of Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point will be furloughed one day a week as part of sequestration, starting this week.

According to American Federation of Government Employees President Bill McGuire, these workers will see a 20 percent pay reduction from now until September. He says the furlough is unnecessary.

"To date, federal employees have sacrificed $90 billion to a three year pay freeze while contributing another $15 billion to our retirement and bearing the burden of health insurance premium and co-pay increases," said McGuire. "This furlough, caused by sequestration, merely piles more insult onto injury."

In a news release, McGuire went on to voice his concerns regarding the safety of the people living in Southport. He said staffing within the Department of Emergency Services is already at a critical low, making it difficult to provide for fire prevention.

With the furloughs in place, McGuire says Sunny Point Fire Rescue will not be able to provide EMS, Fire, Marine Fire and Rescue, and Hazmat aid to local authorities.

"It's just sad," McGuire said. "I am genuinely afraid that sequestration here could quite literally cost people their lives."

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