TUCSON – Local labor groups are organizing help for federal employees who are losing pay.
Vincent Miller went to an open house at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers meeting hall on Friday. He works for the Census Bureau.
“Put the government back together to get us to work for the American people,” Miller said. “Then you figure out what you want to do with this wall. Don’t put us in the middle of it. That’s what makes me the most angry.”
Moses Sterngast also works for the Census Bureau. He is frustrated he is heading back to work, even though he does not know when he will get paid.
“Federal employees have been subjected to this, seems like year-in, year-out,” Sterngast said. “I kind of put some money away to prepare for this. But who knows how long this one is going to last.”
Paul Stapleton-Smith works with the Pima Area Labor Federation. He helped organize Friday’s event, which included information from all of Southern Arizona’s congressional offices and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, among other organizations. He is trying to reach out to non-union members also.
“It’s the gamut. It’s the spectrum,” Stapleton-Smith said. “It’s everything that you would need conceivably in these circumstances that we’re attempting to provide.”
Federal workers who are looking for assistance can call Marian Amoroso Benedetto with United Way Community Services. Her phone number is (520)347-3336.