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Employees of FCI Loretto impacted by government shutdown

Chris Barrett, president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3951, representing FCI Loretto federal corrections officers said they won't be paid on time for the month of January. (WJAC)

Ordered to work without pay, with no choice.

That's the problem workers at the Federal Correctional Institute Loretto are facing because of the government shutdown.

The shutdown has reached day 20.

Chris Barrett, president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3951, representing FCI Loretto federal corrections officers said they won't be paid on time for the month of January.

"On Dec. 22 when it shut down, we didn’t get paid for that day so we were a day short on that next pay," Barrett said. "After that we received no pay check. This Friday we should get paid and we are not.”

The shutdown was prompted by a dispute between President Donald Trump and leaders over money to build the border wall.

Barrett said they don't qualify for unemployment because they're working and their sick leave has been canceled.

“We have single families that’s their only income and married couples that they’re not getting a pay check now," Barrett said. "People are not going to be able to pay their bills here soon."

While corrections officers are working up to 16-hour shifts with no compensation, they said inmates are still getting paid for work on prison crews.

"We have no pay and we have mortgages, child day care, college rent and other bills that we need to pay," said Tom Sciko, federal worker at FCI Loretto.

Employees said they expect to get their money when the shutdown is over, but said they're concerned about how to make ends meet until that happens.

Both men paid a visit to Senator Pat Toomey Thursday to ask for help in lifting the shutdown.

Barrett said they've been through plenty of government shutdowns, but this one is different because it seems no one wants to negotiate.


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