REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (WHNT) – As the government shutdown continues, the effects are being felt here in the Tennessee Valley. Tens of thousands of Redstone Arsenal employees have been furloughed, including commissary employees.
After business on Tuesday, the commissary was closed indefinitely.
“We all will be out of work. starting tomorrow,” said Robin Daniel, the store director. “Now it’s the first of the month and we have to make the rent and beginning of the month bills, and we don’t know how long we are going to be without a job.”
Since nobody knows how long the shutdown will last, Daniel hoped most of the perishable items would be purchased by the end of the day. If Congress doesn’t reach a deal in the next few days, that means much of the food will go bad, and anything that goes past its expiration date will have to be written off as a loss to the commissary.
“The workload that’s going to take trying to document all of the losses that’s a very heavy burden,” said Daniel.
By mid-afternoon, some shelves had already been wiped clean, as Arsenal employee Brenda Winfrey searched for bananas. All but one bruised banana sat on the shelf. But while they may have been out of her favorite fruit, it was the least of Winfrey’s worries.
“I am one of the excepted employees, which means I have to work without pay,” said Winfrey. “And things off post are higher than the commissary, and it’s tax-free here. So it’s a big impact as far as cost, as far as my wallet is concerned.”