Corrections officer Francis J. Lindsay Sr. has been working — and sleeping — at the Los Angeles federal prison in Downtown L.A. for the past three days.
With the government shutdown in its fourth week, some of Lindsay’s coworkers, lacking paychecks, have had to leave for other jobs or take sick days — and are struggling to survive. So Lindsay has volunteered to help pick up the extra shifts, though he, too, is working without pay.
About 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed or forced to work without pay since Dec. 22 because of the partial government shutdown. Congress and President Donald Trump have yet to fund multiple federal departments and agencies, such as Homeland Security, as they grapple over whether to fund Trump’s proposed border wall.
More than 41,000 federal law enforcement and correctional officers are considered essential, meaning they have to work for free during the shutdown — including 16,742 employees with the Bureau of Prisons, according to the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations.
The workers will likely get back pay once the shutdown ends. But in the meantime, many are struggling to make ends meet, according to prison union leaders with the American Federation of Government Employees.
During a press conference Thursday morning, Jan. 17, at the federal prison on Terminal Island, those leaders spoke about the effects of the shutdown on the prison system.
“We don’t care what happens,” said Rich Rust, who works at the Terminal Island prison, in San Pedro. “We just want the (two sides) to get together, get something done, so we can get paid for the work we’re doing.”
The Bureau of Prisons did not respond to a request for comment. But an email sent to the agency received an automatic reply:
“Due to the partial government shutdown,” it read, “responses to inquiries will be delayed. We appreciate …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Politics