Gov't shutdown would impact services; federal workers in HI

By Justin Fujioka
Published On: Sep 27 2013 06:12:37 PM HST
Updated On: Sep 27 2013 07:31:15 PM HST

If a government shutdown happens, thousands of lives here in Hawaii would be affected especially civilian employees of the federal government who will be without work, and pay.

HONOLULU -

A federal government shutdown would affect various services in Hawaii, and force thousands of workers to stay home.

Passport offices may close immediately in a shutdown, with requests going unprocessed. That goes for visas as well.

National parks and monuments like the Arizona Memorial would also go dark.

Thousands of federal employees would be furloughed, including nearly 3,000 civilian employees at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

Another 1,500 or so civilian workers at the shipyard will be exempt to keep the shipyard running.

"We need to make sure national security is taken care of," said Hawaii Metal Trades Council President Don Bongo. "We need to ensure the safety of the shipyard and especially life and property."

If there's no resolution, employees won't find out until they show up to work Tuesday if they need to return home or if they're on that exceptions list.

All federal employees who work during a government shutdown would get paid retroactively if and when Congress comes to an agreement.

For those that are furloughed, a deal is being worked out for shipyard employees.

"We put in language to ensure that if Congress does pass the bill for retroactive pay, that the people on furlough do get paid for staying at home (under) furlough," Bongo said.

A few things that will not be affected include the military, Social Security, medical care, mail service and air traffic controllers.

Federal court will remain open. The judiciary has a pool of funds from fees that will keep it running for 10 working days.

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