JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - Frustrated furloughed workers picketed at the Department of Commerce building Tuesday as federal employees across the country were sent home on the first day of a government shutdown.
After reporting for work on October 1, more than 2,000 people were sent home from U. S. Census Bureau's National Processing Center in Jeffersonville. Employees picketed throughout the day and blamed Congress for creating a stalemate.
"We want you to call your congressman. We want you to call your senator and call the White House. Federal employees shouldn't be pawned and used every time our government can't come to an agreement," said Arnold Scott, V.P. of American Federation of Government Employees.
While AFGE Local 1438 members protested outside the Department of Commerce along 10th Street, callers throughout the metro and Southern Indiana contacted their local congressmen.
"Calls have been very consistent. Folks are relieved they're still going to be receiving their social security checks and the military is still being funded. That's their primary concern," said Carolyn Tandy, district director for Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY3rd).
While Yarmuth kept his entire staff on payroll, Rep. Todd Young (R-IN 9th) confirmed only one staff member is still working at Jeffersonville's satellite office and three in Washington D.C. Young furloughed 12 employees altogether. His office encouraged constituents to contact 202-225-5315 for comments, questions or concerns.
Yarmuth's spokesperson said the congressman kept his entire staff so they would be available to answer phone calls.
Local 1438 union personnel said federal furloughed employees will be updated on a day to day basis regarding employment status.
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