Today hundreds of furloughed federal workers gathered by the Capitol in pouring rain to protest the reckless government shutdown in a rally organized by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).
SEIU Executive Vice President Eileen Kirlin spoke about the damage the shutdown is causing to working people who rely on federally-funded services likeÂ Head Start, as well as to federal workers who arefurloughed or working without regular paychecksÂ for the duration of the shutdown.
Andrew Sailes is one such worker. Andrew is a SEIU NAGE member and a Department of Defense civilian employee whose work as an electronic measurement equipment mechanic ensures our troops have working vehicles. He was furloughed over the summer because of the sequester cuts and was furloughed again because of the shutdown. Andrew is back to work under the Pay Our Military Act, but because of the shutdown, his program doesn’t have enough funds for him to do his job properly.
Many Members of Congress joined SEIU and fellow union leaders in speaking out, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and CPC co-chairs Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ).
This article was originally printed on SEIU on October 10, 2013. Â Reprinted with permission.
Author: Jill Raney,Â SEIU organizer.