Federal Workers File Suit

Union doesn't want them working for nothing
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2019 11:20 AM CST
Federal Workers Push Back Over Shutdown
In this June 22, 2016 file photo, Border Patrol agent Eduardo Olmos walks near the secondary fence separating Tijuana, Mexico, background, and San Diego in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

(Newser) – Work without pay? Nope, federal workers are balking at that requirement and filing suit over the US government shutdown, ABC News reports. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by the American Federation of Government Employees, objects to the requirement that so-called "essential" employees work for nothing. That category includes roughly 420,000 workers, many of whom concentrate on public safety at the Department of Homeland Security.

Airline security agents, immigration enforcement workers, and border patrol officers are among those most affected. Congress has OK'd backpay for federal workers after previous shutdowns, which could happen again this time. "Our nation's heroes ... and their families deserve the decency of knowing when their next paycheck is coming and that they will be paid for their work," says AFGE chief J. David Cox, per CNN. (Meanwhile, House Democrats have a plan to end the shutdown.)

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