Budget cuts start hitting workers at RI Navy base

Thousands of civilian U.S. Navy employees are feeling the pain of automatic federal budget cuts as they start taking unpaid days off.

Around 4,200 workers will have to take 11 days off without pay before the end of September, which amounts to a 20 percent cut in pay.

Spokeswoman Lisa Woodbury Rama took her first furlough day Monday and told Rhode Island Public Radio it was an emotional experience. She said everyone at the base is concerned.

Capt. Douglas Mikatarian, commanding officer of Naval Station Newport, told The Providence Journal that he's concerned the cuts will hurt the work of training sailors and Marines at the Naval War College.

The base is also putting off maintenance and keeping air conditioning at 76 degrees.