Thousands of Amarillo workers face possibility of furloughs - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Thousands of Amarillo workers face possibility of furloughs

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AMARILLO - Day seven the federal shutdown brought bad news to Pantex employees Monday.

Pantex president John Wooley sent a notice to all workers announcing the National Nuclear Security Administration's orders that Pantex begin an "orderly shutdown" of plant operations.

Officials at Pantex and the NNSA have denied comment, so it's unclear at this time when or how many employees could be furloughed.

Also in a cloud of uncertainty are Bell Helicopter workers. Some Amarillo employees say hours are being cut due to a back up of federal inspections, slowing down the workload of the assembly line.

Officials at the Bell facility in Amarillo denied comment, but the Fort Worth facility says though no furloughs have been made so far, they can't rule out the possibility for next week.

To help ease the minds of those who could be affected by the shutdown, Amarillo National Bank is offering free overdraft protection to federal employees, veterans and others who might receive their monthly checks late.

"We've never really relied on the government for anything and we're going to put the customer first. The government shutdown does not effect Amarillo National Bank and we're not going to let that stop us from offering good customer service," ANB Vice President William Ware said.

That service will be offered until one month after congress approves a budget. To sign up for the free overdraft protection, head to any ANB location.