07/23/2012 05:48 EDT | Updated 09/22/2012 05:12 EDT

CFB civilians receive letters warning of job cuts

At least 145 civilian defence workers at CFB Gagetown have received letters stating they may lose their jobs as a result of federal government’s cuts to the Department of National Defence.

Colin Garagan, a union steward, was in Nova Scotia for a funeral last Monday when his boss called to say he needed to be back to work for a meeting on Wednesday.

“He told us that it was unfortunate that we have to serve everybody a letter; there are more jobs to be eliminated,” Garagan said.

It was announced in April that New Brunswick would lose more than 120 Department of National Defence civilian jobs as part of federal cuts across the country, at the time, it was believed Gagetown would lose 98 positions.

The total number of people who will lose their jobs is still unknown.

“The people that are affected are walking on egg shells. Their quality of life is certainly being diminished,” said John MacLennan, president of the Union of National Defence Employees.

“There's a lot of stress that the affected worker also brings home to their families because they can't make any long term plans. They don't know what the end result is going to be for them."

That ambiguity has left a large portion of people in Oromocto questioning what they can spend and where they can spend it.

"I think as long as there's uncertainty about job stability and if there are larger numbers of people who are uncertain, it makes them nervous,” said MacLennan.

“And I think if folks are nervous, then things like making decisions to buy a larger house might be put on hold.”

The federal government refuses to explain its rationale behind proposed job cuts, according to Morris Shannon, the local president of the Union of National Defence Employees.

Shannon told The Canadian Press government officials won't meet to discuss how those positions were chosen.