JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Local members of the American Federation of Government Employees took to the front gates of Naval Air Station Jacksonville to make their voices heard.
Chanting and holding signs that read "jobs not cuts" they protested against across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration.
Union President Philippe Abrigo has worked for the Department of Defense for 36 years.
"I'm always happy and glad to serve this country," said Abrigo, president of AFGE Local 2010.
Abrigo says after sequestration took effect on March 1, he and his fellow co-workers face an uncertain future.
Sequestration requires military services and defense agencies to furlough most Department of Defense civilian employees for an average of one day per week for up to 22 weeks.
"In my case it's about $800 a month less on my paycheck, that is my mortgage payment," said Abrigo.
According to a statement sent to Action News from the Florida National Guard, "993 uniformed military technicians and civilian DoD employees are expected to be furloughed resulting in losses of pay totaling nearly $5.7 million".
Abrigo says employee paychecks won't be the only thing affected.
"It's also going to hurt our military readiness because while we are in furlough we're going to get the active duty military [members] away from their regular job to do some of the duties that civilian employees have to do," said Abrigo.
According to the Florida National Guard, furloughs "adversely affect economies in at least 55 communities where our military technicians live and work".
It's a ripple effect, protesters say, was caused by politicians in Washington.
"My hope is that congress will do the job they were sent to Washington to do and that is approve a budget," said Sally Wilson, protester.
An announcement of possible furloughs is expected this week. Federal law requires at least a 30 day advanced furlough notification to civilian employees.