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Eglin furloughed workers back at work
EGLIN AFB -- Most of the 350,000 civilian defense workers who have been furloughed during the shutdown returned to work today.
Thousands of them work on bases here in Northwest Florida.
Most of those workers are not being paid and don't know when they will be.
Laura Hussey "People have been enjoying the displays again at the Air Force Armament Museum here on Eglin Air Force Base, as civilians return back to work. About 2500 are back in the office here. On Hurlburt Field, 1200."
Anna Baker made coffee for some of furloughed workers as they filled their unexpected free time.
Anna "And they've all been complaining a lot because they're been out of work"
Now most of them are back at work, under a broad interpretation of the new law insuring active duty troops will be paid.
The secretary of defense says civilians that support morale, well-being and readiness can legally be called back.
Frank Bridges/FWB "I think they should stay home, until the government decides to pay them"
Eglin Air Force Base says some of their workers will be paid, because their positions are funded through 2014.
But many are not being paid, because congress has not passed a budget.
Judy Thompson "If they'd shut down Congress and the Senators, take away their pay, we might get things decided on a lot quicker"
Anna Baker says she's seen a dropoff in traffic at one of the restaurants where she works.
With so much uncertainty, she's not surprised.
Anna "My husband and I talked.....he is active and we're still getting paid, but because they said there could be a delay in our next paycheck, possibly.....so he actually told me to not do random little spending"
It's very likely the civilian workers will receive back pay.
The House has passed it, the president says he'll sign it.
But the senate has not voted on it yet, and it won't come until the shutdown ends.
Laura Hussey "To help people deal with delayed paychecks, the Airman and Family Readiness Center here on base, as well as the Employee Assistance Program, offer financial counseling.