NIAGARA FALLS (WKBW) Three hundred sixty workers at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station were off of work on Monday, the first of eleven Mondays of unpaid days off.
Officials at the airbase did not return our calls, but members of the Niagara Military Affairs Council did. They are a group that works to keep the base here in the area, but do not represent the base or the government.
"Certainly it's something we don't like to see. We want to see employment out there that affects our economy here in Western New York. Disappointing, but it's some thing that is out of our control," Chairman John Cooper said.
That is because the furloughs are part of the federal sequester, more than 85 billion dollars in budget cuts this year alone.
All of the furloughed workers are federal employees at the base, now losing 20% of their weeks pay.
"So financially it is going to be a burden to them and financially it eliminates a lot of money that is going back into our community on a daily basis," NMAC Vice Chairman Merrell Lane added.
That includes places like local restaurants. Kim's Café is located right at the gate of the airbase.
"We get most of our business from the base," employee Nicholas Rubino said.
Now workers are left wondering if business will be affecting by the cutbacks and furloughs to workers.
"That's going to, that might affect us, I don't know. We'll see how it turns out," Rubino added. "We'll hope for the best."
And with the future of the airbase still unknown, could these cuts have any lasting or permanent impact?
"It is system wide. Actually every department in the US government is feeling the same effect of cutbacks and things. I don't think it's going to be a plus or minus for Niagara," Merrell Lane said.
"I don't believe that this in particular will have a permanent affect," John Cooper added.