WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) sent a letter to President Trump demanding an immediate end to the government shutdown.
Since the shutdown began, 420,000 government employees have been forced to work without pay while another 380,000 employees are locked out of their jobs on furlough.
“Federal workers are united in opposition to the shutdown, the lockout, and their forced labor without pay,” said Cox in the letter. “They want to be back providing vitally important services to their fellow Americans, and they want to be paid.”
In addition to the now 21-day shutdown, President Trump also canceled the 2019 scheduled pay increase for federal workers — while giving billionaires and corporations a $1.4 trillion tax cut. The shutdown, coupled with the canceled pay raise, is devastating for the federal workforce. Ultimately, it is federal workers, their families, and the American people who are severely impacted.
“It is not just our federal workers who are feeling the pain,” said Cox. “Children are going without nutritional assistance. Families cannot close on mortgages. Small businesses cannot get loans.”
The government shutdown has real world implications and undermines national security. Federal law enforcement officers are among the 800,000 federal workers who are not being paid during the shutdown.
“Not paying correctional officers who are guarding inmates in federal prisons, the already low-paid TSA officers, and Border Patrol Agents does not help our national security,” said Cox.
Federal workers are being used as a bargaining chip to force Congress to adhere to the administration’s demands. AFGE members are imploring President Trump to sign a bill that will put an end to the shutdown.
“Stop holding the government, the 800,000 federal workers and their families, and the American people hostage,” said Cox.
You can view the full letter here.