Detroit — Three dozen federal workers affected by the current government shutdown gathered Thursday for a protest outside the Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building.
Meant to highlight the impact of the shutdown on American citizens, as well as the local and national economy, the rally is one of more than 100 similar protests taking place across the country organized by the American Federation of Government Employees.
Joseph Dolan, national representative for the federation, said the group hopes to put some public pressure on Congress to resolve the crisis, which has affected hundreds of workers in Metro Detroit and 800,000 federal employees nationwide.
“Federal employees are being held hostage by Congress,” Dolan said, standing on Michigan Avenue in downtown Detroit as protesters marched and chanted along the sidewalk. “This lockout is abstract to some but it has real impact to real people.”
Federal worker Debbie Dodd said she received her last paycheck Thursday. She has two homes and two adult children to care for. Dodd has been ordered to stay on the job at the Social Security office but is no longer being paid.
“I’m trying to figure out how I am going to make it. By the end of next week, if I don’t have any money I can’t come to work. I don’t have gas money,” she said.