Mid-South federal workers to rally Saturday in response to shutdown

Mid-South federal workers to rally Saturday in response to shutdown

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - About 1,000 Memphis IRS workers have been ordered back to work to prepare for the tax filing season.

Federal workers are hosting a rally Saturday morning to address the ongoing shutdown.

Rain or shine, federal employees said they will be there. These employees say they feel caught in the middle of a fight between lawmakers.

Across the country, furloughed federal employees are rallying and demanding for the federal government to reopen and for their paychecks to return.

An estimated 17,000 Mid-Southerners are impacted by the partial government shutdown, now in its twenty-eighth day.

From TSA, food inspectors, to IRS employees – all are feeling the pinch from the missed paycheck.

“The message to Washington is, we basically want to go to work, earn a fair pay for a fair days of work,” said Gibson Jones, president of National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 98. “We don’t like being used as political pawns.”

Saturday’s Memphis rally is scheduled for 11 a.m. across the street from the IRS building on Getwell Road.

Federal employees, along with Congressman Steve Cohen, will gather to put a face to this issue.

WMC5 caught up with the Congressman ahead of the rally as he met with people from his district.

“This is a Trump shutdown,” Cohen said. “He is suffering from it politically. He is hemorrhaging from it and at some point, he will give in and open up the government which is his job.”

Jones said he is daily receiving calls for help from federal employees, people now desperate as they approach a second payless payday.

“It’s everyday people,” Jones said. “And they are basically at their wit’s end right now. They don’t know what to do, what to think. They are basically sitting in idle mode and waiting.”

Congressman David Kustoff said he's asked for paychecks be withheld until the government reopens.

In a statement, he said:

“The security of the United States is my top priority, and I am disappointed that Democrats’ continued refusal to support common-sense border security is holding over 800,000 federal workers hostage without pay. We must build the border wall and get the government back to work for the American people. I will continue fighting until the situation is resolved, and I have asked that my paycheck be withheld until it is.”

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