Opinion

Decision is the right one for shipyard workers | Our Corner

There’s a reason or two to be happy if you’re a Navy backer around here.

First, the USS John C. Stennis is now home from back-to-back deployments and our community is filled with Navy Sailors able to spend time with their loved ones.

Second, we got word on Tuesday of this week from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that Puget Sound Naval Shipyard workers won’t be furloughed.

The Secretary of Defense’s announcement was like icing on the cake for Bremerton and Kitsap County.

Secretary Hagel recognized the invaluable contribution that workers at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility make to this country day in and day out.

He rightfully characterized the work done there and at other shipyards across the United States as “mission critical.”

Captain Steve Williamson, the shipyard’s commander, nailed it when relaying Sec. Hagel’s announcement to workers.

“He recognizes how important you are to the defense of our country,” Williamson said. “Now it is time to prove him right.

“There are thousands of other federal workers that will be furloughed, which makes our critical job that much more important. We must do it well. We must do it right the first time. And we must do it efficiently.”

This intervention by the Secretary is like a breath of fresh air, but it goes without saying that the other across-the-board cuts associated with sequestration don’t make sense and will do more harm than good.

Slashing Head Start, education for children with disabilities, nutrition assistance for seniors, public health, law enforcement and more without rhyme or reason is just plain foolish.

Perhaps all of the shipyard workers who have been spared  can help lobby Congress to pass a budget that makes sense for the rest of the country that hasn’t been so lucky.

 

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