Let workers work
As president of Chapter 30 of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), representing employees of the Internal Revenue Service in the State of Washington, I can tell you that my members want to work. We do not want to be furloughed by a government shutdown because our country is the reason we came to work for the federal government. Americans rely on us to provide the services they need.
Right now, nearly 800,000 employees at federal agencies around the country are out of work, furloughed because of the shutdown. I know this is causing great hardship for many of those I represent. After all, along with the rest of the federal workforce, they have had their pay frozen for the past three years. Not only that, many of them had to undergo unpaid furlough days earlier this year because of sequestration.
When I look at my members, I see middle class working people, subject to the same kind of financial pressures most Americans feel. They pay rent, have mortgages, kids in college, elderly parents to care for, and the everyday bills. They don’t deserve to have their paychecks taken from them this way. They want to work.
Tom Tsoming, Seattle
Bring back a functioning government
The government shutdown represents an act of domestic terrorism by the Republicans. While there is no violence being used, the tactics are the same: the
Republicans will hold the country hostage to their demands to repeal the Affordable Care Act. I applaud President Obama for standing up against these tactics.
In the meantime, lots of people are losing money and jobs; parents have no childcare with Head Start programs being closed; local businesses are being hurt by the fact that their customers are not at work and can’t afford to buy products.
This is really a low point in our struggles to have a functioning government in the midst of extreme partisan politics. There are no good words to describe the lunacy of what is going on.
Lucy Gaskill Gaddis, Seattle