MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Friday, tens of thousands of federal workers should be expecting paychecks. Instead, many are growing increasingly anxious about how to pay their household bills.
Because of the lengthening federal government shutdown, both furloughed and essential workers will not get their bi-weekly paychecks. It marks the first critical point in the nearly three-week shutdown.
“It’s a financial hardship that many of them came out to express,” said Gregg James, with the American Federation of Government Employees
James is referring to one of many organized protests around the country on Thursday.
At the same time President Donald Trump was heading to the Mexican border to push the need for a border wall, furloughed workers began hitting the streets.
Using megaphones and homemade signs, they’re drumming up public support to bring the stalemate to an end.
“We’re just trying to get the public’s attention and let people know the plight of the federal worker,” James said.
For essential workers like airport TSA agents, all of them are required to remain on the job but without pay. TSA officer and union representative Celia Hahn has been through government shutdowns before, but she says this one really stings.
“Everybody seems to be so divided and there doesn’t seem to be much work for resolution or coming to an agreement,” Hahn said.
And with each mortgage and bill payment that workers miss, the level of frustration and anger only grows.
“A lot of us work paycheck to paycheck, so missing only one is going to have huge consequences for us,” Hahn added.
Many of the displaced workers say they are hearing no optimistic news out of Washington.
So as bills pile up, they’re further reminded of the highly-leveraged and risky political dispute.