U.S. Markets open in 44 mins

Furloughs delayed for Maine, NH shipyard workers

KITTERY, Maine (AP) -- Maine's U.S. senators say an announcement by the Defense Department that it will delay furlough notices for civilian employees is encouraging and timely for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and other defense facilities.

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King said while the delay, announced Thursday afternoon, is helpful, the long-term problem of the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration still exists. They said they will continue to work toward a solution.

The announcement of the delay came several hours after shipyard workers from Maine and New Hampshire rallied against the pending furloughs in Prescott Park in Portsmouth.

If the cuts are enacted, approximately 6,000 shipyard workers will be furloughed one day a week for 22 weeks beginning next month. Officials say that amounts to about a 20 percent pay cut.