‘Working for free; I hate it:’ Government shutdown hits NC workers hard
HAW RIVER, N.C. —Jon Franklin is a senior correctional officer at the federal prison in Butner, a dangerous job he is currently doing for no pay, WTVD reports.
According to AFGE, the nation’s largest union of federal workers, the shutdown affects about 800,000 workers. About 380,000 have been furloughed — told not to come to work and won’t be paid until the shutdown is over.
But about 420,000 other workers are deemed essential employees, Franklin among them, and are required to come to work — but they’re not getting paid.
Franklin is worried about paying the mortgage on his brand new home, and said, “I mean I’ve already reached out to my creditors and everything. But still, they’re not getting paid and I’m not getting any money so that I can pay them. Either way, I’m losing.”
Franklin and his union are pushing Congress and the White House to not just end the shutdown, but then immediately pass legislation to get them back pay.
But there are also thousands of others working under federal contracts, like janitors and security guards. Those contract workers have little hope of recuperating the pay they’ve lost while the government isn’t operating.