Commissaries plan for Monday furloughs

Estiban Vela, a Panzer Commissary store associate, stocks shelves June 10. Furloughs will impact Vela and the rest of DeCA’s 14,000 U.S. civilian employees. When furloughs are implemented, most military commissaries will close one day a week on Mondays.

Estiban Vela, a Panzer Commissary store associate, stocks shelves June 10. Furloughs will impact Vela and the rest of DeCA’s 14,000 U.S. civilian employees. When furloughs are implemented, most military commissaries will close one day a week on Mondays.

When furloughs are implemented, most military commissaries will close one day a week on Mondays, said the director and chief executive officer of the Defense Commissary Agency. The weekly closures will occur for up to 11 total days, between July 8 and Sept. 30.

Closing commissaries on Mondays would be in addition to any day stores are routinely closed. The 148 stores that routinely close on Mondays would also close the next normal day of operation. Other than the furlough day, there are no other changes planned for store operation hours.

This announcement comes as DeCA follows Department of Defense protocols related to the automatic federal government budget reductions, known as sequestration that began March 1. Like most DOD activities, DeCA is mandated by the department to furlough its civil service employees. Furlough notices were scheduled to be delivered to DeCA employees between May 28 and June 5.

DeCA has 247 commissaries with more than 16,000 employees operating in 13 countries and two U.S. territories. Furloughs will impact all of DeCA’s more than 14,000 U.S. civilian employees.

“We know that any disruption in commissary operations will impact our patrons,” said Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA’s director and CEO. “Also, we understand the tremendous burden this places on our employees, who, when furloughed, will lose 20 percent of their pay.

“We determined that Monday closures would present the least pain for our patrons, employees and industry partners.”

As sequestration continues, commissary customers can quickly find out about any changes to their local store’s operating schedule by clicking on the “Locations” tab on DeCA’s website, then “Alphabetical Listing,” finding their store and clicking on “Local Store Information.”

Patrons are reminded that because sequestration is so fluid, DeCA’s plan for this budget-cutting measure is subject to change.

DeCA officials decided on Monday closures after weighing the potential disruption to patrons and suppliers of having rolling furloughs, where closure dates would differ from store to store. Universal Monday closures are less disruptive to shoppers and the agency’s industry partners — vendors, suppliers and distributors — who deliver products daily to DeCA’s commissaries.

USAG Stuttgart commissaries
In Stuttgart, if the furloughs are implemented, the following operating hours have been proposed, according to Jeff Rose, the Patch Commissary manager.

• Patch Commissary: open Tuesday thru Sunday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Panzer and Kelley Commissaries: open Tuesday thru Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Robinson Barracks Commissary: open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.