WASHINGTON, D.C. – American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement:
“This week, most of the Defense Department civilian employees who have been locked out of their jobs during the government shutdown are returning to work. This should be welcome news to all Americans, since civilian employees are essential to ensuring the safe and effective operation of our military.
“However, the return of these employees does not eliminate the continuing harmful effects of this senseless government shutdown. The employees won’t be paid for the time they were furloughed, barring congressional approval of back pay legislation. And hundreds of thousands of federal employees still remain locked out of their jobs without pay, including many within DoD.
“In addition, as Defense officials have noted, employees returning to work soon will run out of the parts and supplies they need to do their jobs because of the shutdown. If this shutdown persists, these employees could very well be sent home again because they will be unable to work.
“While Secretary Chuck Hagel’s action was the right decision for Defense Department civilians, it is time for Congress to do the right thing and vote for a clean continuing resolution that will allow all federal employees to return to work.”