Government shutdown: Furloughed Minnesota workers protest - KMSP-TV

Furloughed Minnesota workers protest government shutdown

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Dan Delgado just learned he's one of about 300 civilian workers furloughed from the 934th Airlift Wing because of the shutdown Dan Delgado just learned he's one of about 300 civilian workers furloughed from the 934th Airlift Wing because of the shutdown
Dan Delgado's sign Dan Delgado's sign
Furloughed Minnesota civilian DOD workers protest the government shutdown asking for Congress to resolve the budget dispute Furloughed Minnesota civilian DOD workers protest the government shutdown asking for Congress to resolve the budget dispute
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Despite the government shutdown, the U.S. Federal Building in Minneapolis is still open and still processing passports inside. But across the Twin Cities there are groups of non-essential federal workers that are no longer on the job, and many of them took to the streets in protest Tuesday.

"I'm both worried and I'm pretty disgusted with our representatives," said Barb Galle, a furloughed federal employee.

A divided government has these workers caught in the chasm.

"I got a phone call last night, but obviously didn't know for sure until this morning that they still didn't have anything once we got to work," said Dustin Hawkins, one of 280 civilian workers furloughed Tuesday at the 934th Airlift Wing.

"Right now we're thinking if this doesn't get resolved, what's next? Do I need to find a part-time job?" asked Dan Delgado, who stood at Tuesday's protest with a sign reading "Congress is getting paid, why not us?"

William Pool, chief engineer for the 934th, didn't think the shutdown would happen. But he's been down this road before -- laid-off during the last government shutdown 17 years ago.

"Thank goodness I'm an older person. I'm close to retirement, I'm a little more financially stable," Pool said. "We have young families on base who are worried about how they're going to feed their kids and pay their rent. And I'm out here for them."

For many federal workers, the glass is half-empty and draining fast.

"I was more confident that it was going to happen than not happen," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife employee Justin Mednick.

At a Bloomington restaurant, Mednick and coworkers from the Fish and Wildlife Service gathered to commiserate and pass the blame onto Congress.

"That's the frustrating part of it, that they're not willing to work together," said Mat Weber.

VETS BREACH BARRIER AT MEMORIAL

In Washington, a group of 91 veterans crossed barriers to gain entry to the World War II memorial. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) said she was among 8 to 12 members of Congress that cut through police tape and escorted the veterans to the shuttered memorial.

Democrats and Republicans are laying blame on one another as 800,000 federal workers find themselves temporarily out of work.

"They've shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health care to millions of Americans," President Obama said in Rose Garden speech Tuesday.

This is the first federal government shutdown since the budget battle of 1995-1996.

MINNESOTA IMPACT

See more effects of the government shutdown on Minnesota, and a list of what's open and what's closed, at http://bit.ly/Gzzyb3

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