The partial closure of the government should affect a particularly hard working group … and it is not a member of Congress.
Approximately 800,000 government employees have already started running out of paychecks because of the closure of their business and will likely not see their salary arrears until they are settled, but another subset of workers will will not be paid at all.
Hundreds of contractors in federal buildings, including janitors, security guards and cafeteria waiters, not only experience a significant break in their work schedules, they will also not be compensated for this break, according to 32BJ SEIU, a union representing many buildings service workers caught in this stop. In addition, thousands of subcontractors in roles ranging from IT to project management and research are potentially caught in a similar stalemate.
Government employees generally receive salary arrears at the end of the closure, but contractors are paid directly by businesses that can not bill the government for services when it is closed. Since these companies will not be paid, they will not be able to pay their workers either.
Some workers have resumed work and will continue to receive their salaries without interruption, depending on the source of funding on which their contracts are based, according to 32BJ spokesman Frank Soults. The entrepreneurs of the Statue of Liberty are funded by the Government of the State of New York during the partial closure, for example.
In the meantime, others have learned that they could see a gaping hole in their paychecks.
"My supervisor said we would not be paid," said Bonita Williams, state department concierge at the Good Medical, "so my bills will not be paid."
Soults said union members would continue to benefit from health coverage for at least 30 days from the start of the closure.
This is not the first time that low-wage entrepreneurs are forced to bear the effects of a closure: a similar problem appeared in 2013 when the government was closed for 16 days and many entrepreneurs had to cope to a significant reduction in their hours of work.
"It's a cowardly shame," said Héctor Figueroa, chairman of 32BJ SEIU, in a statement.
Congress members, meanwhile, will see no pay cut. Unlike other government employees, they will not even be forced to rely on their salary arrears because their wages are set in the Constitution and will remain unchanged throughout the closed period.
A growing number of legislators, including Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), French representatives French Hill (R-AR) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), have stated that they would like their salaries to be retained until partial closure. is finished. Others, among which Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) donate their salaries during this period.
The government officially closed partially at the end of December after legislators were unable to reach an agreement on Trump's border wall funding. Now that the New Year is in full swing, the effects of closure are becoming more and more evident.
The president said the workers supported the closure. The unions do not agree.
While federal employees and contractors are most likely to feel the effects of a shutdown, Trump asserted that they supported his efforts to close the government over the border wall and showed little to no effect. Empathy for the position that puts this political struggle.
"Many of these workers have said to me and said," stay away until you get funding for the wall, "he said in a statement. December. "These federal workers want the wall."
The situation is quite different, said groups such as 32BJ SEIU, the International Federation of Professional Engineers and Engineers, and the American Federation of Government Employees, all of which are unions representing government employees or subcontractors.
"The president falsely claims that" many "federal workers support the closure and told him to" stay out, "said IFPTE President Paul Shearon in a statement. not heard a single member support the president's inaction.Most see this as an act of ineptitude. "
Representatives of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing border patrol agents, said they supported Trump's efforts to get a border wall even if it meant that workers would not get paid. (Meanwhile, Customs and Border Protection officers are among those who sue the federal government to force workers to work without pay.)
Contrary to what Trump claims, many unions do not call for the closure of the site by aggressively inviting the President and Congress to work for a solution that would reopen the government.
As things stand, we do not know exactly what this solution will look like.