Hagel orders civilian Defense workers back to work

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both reported that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered some 400,000 civilian Department of Defense workers back to work effective Monday.

Both newspapers reported this ruling was the result of Defense lawyers examining the Pay Our Military Act, a bill passed shortly before the government was officially shut down to ensure that active military members here in the US and overseas still received their paychecks.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Mr. Hagel extensively more than the Times.

“I’m not a lawyer, but I do have some appreciation for common sense, and common sense tells you that if you’re working for the Department of Defense, you’re supporting the defense and the security of America, and you’re supporting those who are on the front lines,” Hagel said.

Both articles were short; the New York Times article was barely 500 words. It was a ‘Breaking News’ piece, however.

Neither articles left out information, but both did present this information in different ways. The WSJ concentrated on the effects that the government shutdown has had on the military.

“The furloughs have created broad ripple effects across the military. The Air Force has halted training for many units not scheduled to deploy overseas any time soon…”

The NY Times only focused on the immediate effects that this re-employment of civilian Defense workers will have.

“I expect us to be able to significantly reduce — but not eliminate — civilian furloughs under this process,” Mr. Hagel said in the NY Times.

Instead of listing the specifics the shutdown has had on the military, the Times said “he cited disruptions across the armed services.”

The impact of this story is colossal: 400,000 people will be able to return to work. Both papers convey the meaning of this announcement, but the Wall Street Journal does a more complete job of it by examining the full picture.

However, neither article explains why this announcement didn’t come a few days earlier. According to Mr. Hagel, all Department of Defense workers, military or civilian, are vital in protecting this country.

Hopefully the other 400,000 people who have been laid off will be able to return to work shortly.

The Wall Street Journal also examined two groups that will have to furlough their own workers soon if the government shutdown does end soon.

“Lockheed Martin Corp. announced plans to furlough 3,000 workers on Monday. Lockheed said it could be forced to cut more deeply if the government doesn’t get back to normal business soon. The Aerospace Industries Association, the main industry advocacy group, has warned that companies are preparing to furlough tens of thousands of workers if the shutdown continues.”

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