Federal Workers Will Protest the Government Shutdown in Philly Today
Expect to see picket signs outside Independence National Historical Park this morning.
Federal workers are really unhappy with the government shutdown.
They’re planning a protest at 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning outside Independence National Historical Park. The demonstration will be led by the local chapters of the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury Employees Union.
The largest federal employee union, AFGE, represents about 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and about 10,000 workers in Philadelphia, including airport transportation security agents, correctional officers and more. NTEU represents about 5,000 employees in the area.
Roughly 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed or are working without pay since the partial government shutdown began on December 22nd. Centered on President Donald Trump’s push for $5.7 billion wall at the U.S. border with Mexico, the shutdown is the second longest in the nation’s history.
According to a Facebook post by the local chapter of NTEU, the rally will run between 10 a.m. and noon on Tuesday near 5th and Market streets. It’s not clear how many workers are expected to attend.
A number of elected officials are expected, including U.S. representatives Brendan Boyle, Dwight Evans, Brian Fitpatrick, and Mary Gay Scanlon, as well as state Senator Vincent Hughes. Scanlon, Fitzpatrick, and Evans are among several local representatives who are asking House administrators to withhold their pay during the shutdown.
Both AFGE and NTEU are pushing for pay restoration for federal workers affected by the shutdown. The national AFGE said it’s urging Trump and Congress to “come to an agreement, re-open our government, and pass long-term spending bills that include a 1.9% pay raise for federal employees in 2019.”
“Federal employees want to go back to work,” AFGE president J. David Cox Sr. said in a statement. “These are real people, with real lives and real responsibilities. It’s time to end this shutdown, open the government, and get federal employees back on the job — with pay.”
NTEU is also planning a rally in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. The union has organized a bus to transport workers from Philly to that event.
The shutdown affects operations at nine departments, according to The New York Times, including Homeland Security, Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, and more. Trump is set to address the shutdown while speaking from the Oval Office at 9 p.m. on Tuesday.