PEARCE: PAY EMPLOYEES AT WIPP, LABS

Washington, DC (October 9, 2013) – Today, addressing concerns over upcoming furloughs at WIPP, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce sent a letter to Dr. Ernest Moniz U.S. Secretary of Energy, urging him to protect pay for employees at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, Los Alamos National Labs, and Sandia National Labs.

“Last weekend, the House passed legislation ensuring that all furloughed federal employees will receive the certainty of back pay,” said Pearce.  “To ensure that the thousands in New Mexico who work at DOE contractor facilities like WIPP are included in this budget certainty, I asked Secretary Moniz to act and certify the labs and WIPP will be able to provide for employees, protecting our jobs and local economies,” said Pearce.  “Our contractors and employees at WIPP, Sandia, and Los Alamos provide a vital service to our nation, and there is no reason to allow damage to our communities when it can easily be prevented.  I ask Secretary Moniz to join us in that spirit of cooperation, for the good of New Mexicans and the nation.”

In the letter, Pearce pointed out that “The employees at our national labs and WIPP play a key role in our nation’s defense and growing our economy by focusing on everything from the development of weapons systems to energy efficiency studies...” and that furloughs at WIPP “would have serious and lasting economic consequences for the nearby community of Carlsbad and the surrounding area.”  “In the spirit of HR 3223,” wrote Pearce, “I again ask you  to certify these expenses and to guarantee any and all furloughed personnel at these critically important facilities are compensated accordingly.”

The full text of the letter can be viewed here.

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