Local federal employees see no end in sight as the government shutdown continues

Dozens call for shutdown to end at rally hosted by American Federation of Government Employees

Local federal employees see no end in sight as the government shutdown continues
American Federation of Government Employees hold rally supporting local federal workers impacted by government shutdown. (Source: Jasmine Anderson)


Local federal employees see no end in sight as the government shutdown continues

Saturday, President Trump offered a compromise package on immigration to end the partial shutdown. In his televised address, he said both sides in Washington need to “reach across the aisle and find a solution."

It’s day 29 of the federal shutdown and 800,000 federal workers are still not getting paid. That’s including local TSA, post office, plumbers, pipe fitters and jail employees.

Federal employees and people who support them met at Augusta Regional Airport calling for an end to the government shutdown.

“Call for the vote, call for the vote!”

Stacey Jones works at the Federal Correctional Institution in Edgefield, South Carolina. She’s been in corrections for 16 years.

Every day she deals with some of the nation’s most dangerous criminals, and for the past 29 days, she’s not been getting paid.

“Immigrants that you speak of, that you want arrested at the border, we house those people. The terrorists that are arrested that are posing a threat to the country, we house those people. We provide the security to keep them inside of the walls and keep them from coming out and bringing harm to our communities," Jones said.

A lot of these federal employees, like her, continue to show up to work while their bills fall behind.

“People having to make the choice between putting gas in their car to come to a job that doesn’t pay or paying daycare bills for their children," Jones explained.

With no end in sight, her future’s uncertain.

“How long is our health insurance going to last? How long before I have to start trying to pay premiums out of my pocket?," said Jones.

Event organizer Ceretta Smith represents federal workers as president of American Federation of Government Employees.

She’s urging people to call their congressman and senators.

“Just tell them, call for the vote. Open the government back up. This is in my back door. it has the potential to affect our community economically and we’re concerned about our brothers and our sisters because we are their keeper," Smith said.

Smith also hopes businesses will donate gift cards,, for food, gas and more, to help federal workers during this trying time.

The American Federation of Government Employees plans to hold another rally in front of Congressman Rick Allen’s local office next month.

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