Stop-work order issued for dozens at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Updated:

Loading

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Up to 200 people are being laid off at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

A number of them were told Friday.

Union officials said Cape Canaveral Air Force Station contractors recently received a stop-work order.

Twenty-year employee Tony Cadore received his layoff notice Friday morning just as his son is getting ready for college.

"I have no idea what I'm going to do right now, but through faith in grace of God, faith in God, I know I'll be fine," Cadore said.

Cadore worked as an area mechanic and is also an Army veteran.

"It's really going to impact people in ways we can't imagine," Cadore said.

He said he knows his employer had no choice. He is one of many laid off workers tied to Canaveral Air Force Station.

Firefighter Dustin Rhoades told Channel 9 he received his notice Wednesday.

"Hopefully something comes up within the company locally so I can stay with my family," Rhoades said.

Rhoades and dozens of union employees like him are dusting off their resumes and wondering what's next.

Air Force Space Command has developed plans to absorb a half billion in reductions in its 2013 operations and maintenance budget. The local share of those cuts is about $16 million.

Transport Workers Union President Kevin Smith said not even those supporting the Air Force Station's unmanned launches were immune from the layoffs.

"That's a difficult part of this. Now we have this other onslaught of issues," Smith said.

There is some hope that the mandatory federal cuts could end by September or October.

"Hopefully we can resolve this issue soon and get these people back to work," Smith said.

Smith said TWU will work with each company and the Brevard County workforce which will send out resume writing teams and help with job placement and additional education if needed.

Some contractors are even requiring managers to take mandatory furloughs to reduce the number of layoffs. Space industry advocate Dale Ketcham said there are other implications to sequestration cuts.

"It's not the responsibility of the DOD to sacrifice on safety or national security to support the commercial launch market," Ketcham said.

Ketcham said in this climate, the commercial launch market would prefer to be on its own, simply meeting Federal Aviation Administration requirements.

Friday is also the last day for nearly 70 United Space Alliance Workers.

The company is letting 68 employees go during the last round of layoffs tied to the retirement of the space shuttle program.

Officials said all laid-off employees are eligible for severance packages, and will get help finding new jobs.