DETROIT (FOX 2) – This Friday would typically be a payday for federal employees but it’s going to be just another day as the shutdown drags into its third week. Now employees have become protesters – demanding the government reopen.
Across the country, protesters rallied for the 420,000 employees who are working without pay – and the 380,000 who are simply out of work.
From Dallas to Chicago and across the country: the chants of ‘open the government’ ring out. Detroit isn’t left out. Union employees from the American Federation of Government Employees District 7 rallied outside the McNamara federal building Thursday.
The union called the ongoing shutdown dangerous fo public safety.
The shutdown is about to be the longest in American history unless a deal is reached by Sunday. For employees, the consequences are getting real as they’re about to miss their first paycheck on Friday.
“I don’t care who thinks they’re gonna be the winner. I just want to be paid – and so do my coworkers,” said TSA agent Jasmi Lauri.
Lauri, from Dearborn, has been a TSA agent for about 16 years. Even though she’s not getting paid, she’s showing up to work.
“I did sign up to help protect the United States people and i’m going to keep coming to work as long as I can,” she said.
Lauri says she has a little money saved up, but worries about many of her coworkers who were living paycheck to paycheck before the shutdown.
“They’re worried about how they’re going to feed their children at the end of the month. They’re worried how they’re going to pay their mortgages, their rent, their car payments. Gas to work is gonna be a struggle.”
AFGE says employees shouldn’t have to worry about payment and the public shouldn’t have to be concerned about safe airports, border security, stable housing or government assistance. It also added that until a bill is passed to reopen the government, workers will be be telling Congress and the President to do their jobs so they can do theirs.