Looming government shutdown set to impact thousands in Huntsville

The majority of the people impacted work on Redstone Arsenal.

Posted: Jan 18, 2018 5:28 PM
Updated: Jan 18, 2018 6:57 PM

Thursday night we are just hours from a possible government shutdown that would impact hundreds of thousands of government employees throughout the country and tens of thousands here in the Tennessee Valley.

Many of those who could be impacted work on Redstone Arsenal, which houses multiple divisions of our nation's government.

According to the Department of Defense website, over 35,000 people work on post at Redstone.

That includes roughly a thousand active duty military, just under 20 thousand government civilians, and fifteen thousand government contractors.

I talked to a retired government contractor who worked on the Arsenal during the government shutdown in 2013 who said thousands of those people wouldn't come into work if the government shuts down again Friday evening.

Tom Hartley remembers exactly what happened to his defense contracting job the last time the government shutdown.

"It shut off all of our money, because we were paid per contract, per investigation," said Hartley.

It forced him to take built up vacation time, but some of his fellow employees weren't so lucky.

"The younger investigators who just started the job, been on the job less than a year, they didn't have the luxury that I did and as a result of that they weren't paid at all," said Hartley.

WAAY 31 reached out to the arsenal Thursday.

Officials told us they won't speculate on what may or may not happen and that it's their goal to ensure critical operations will continue if the government does shut down.

Hartley remembers how many people were essential personnel when the government shut down the last time.

"Somewhere between 100-200 from what I can recall from what happened back in 2013," said Hartley.

A disabled government employee, who didn't want to go on camera, told WAAY 31 government workers get paid on the 1st and 15th of each month.

That means any possible shutdown would have to last for 12 days for any workers to not receive a paycheck.

Even then, the historical precedent is for the government to pay all furloughed employees back pay for the time they were off.

"Would it adversely effect the area? I can't think of any reason why, other than if it went on for a very extended period of time," said Hartley.

Hartley said all government contractors on the arsenal would be impacted differently depending on what type of contract it is and how they get paid by the government.

73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 73°
79° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 80°
77° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 78°
76° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 76°
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 74°
WAAY Radar
WAAY Temperatures


Community Events