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    Oct 7, 2013

    12 Federal Jobs That Are Vital to America's Families

    Think you don't need the government? Think again. 12 reasons why we need to end the government shutdown and get our federal workers back on the job.

    Via aflcio.org

    More than 800,000 federal workers all over the United States are locked out of their jobs because of the House Republican government shutdown. While most people think that the shutdown is focused on Washington, D.C., the reality is that about 85% of federal workers don't work in the Washington area. In fact, the D.C. metro area is only the fourth largest concentration of federal workers (see a map of where federal workers are). Here are 12 examples of workers, some of whom are still working, are going without paychecks because of the irresponsible House Republican shutdown.

    1. Washington, D.C., Capitol Police

    Via huffingtonpost.com

    The officers who responded to the tragic incident near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday are currently working without pay. Whenever the shutdown ends, they'll receive pay for time worked, but they don't know when their next check will arrive.

    2. Wyoming Nuclear Missile Support Staff

    Via wyomingnews.com

    More than 1,000 support staff at a base that houses Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles were furloughed. While people who directly work in national security-related jobs stayed working, others, like map technician Thomas Sweeney, were sent home. The absence of Sweeney and others isn't as benign as some members of Congress would have you believe: “As for civilians who work for the (Defense Department) and support our national security, furloughs and pay freezes are equally serious and threatening to our national security, especially at a time of war,” American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger said.

    3. Florida Air Safety

    Jennifer Martin is a member of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS) and computer specialist with the Federal Aviation Administration in Melbourne, Fla. Martin develops and maintains software applications to monitor equipment like air-to-ground and ground-to-ground communications and surveillance. She and her co-workers, who include aviation safety inspectors, are dedicated federal employees who want to return to their jobs where they can "serve the nation, and provide for our families." Martin says while they are locked out of their jobs, the safety of flying public may be at risk.

    4. Missouri Mortgage Assistance for Rural Homeowners

    Via washingtonpost.com

    Nicole Starr, a single mother of three, was locked out from her job helping low-income rural homeowners pay their mortgages. She says she's very proud of the job she has helping people. “Now I’m in the same position as the people I help,” she says. “I feel like I am watching our community fall apart.”

    5. New York Toxic Waste Cleanup

    Via thinkprogress.org

    The Environmental Protection Agency was scheduled to begin the process of helping residents near the Eighteen Mile Creek Superfund site move to homes that are uncontaminated with asbestos, PCBs, lead and chromium—hazards they currently live with—but the shutdown has stopped the process. The local community involvement coordinator Mike Basile says he doesn't know when things will move forward. “I don’t know. I can’t find out because it’s so chaotic today.”

    6. Montana Native American Programs

    Via bigstory.ap.org

    Leaders of the Crow Tribe laid off hundreds of workers who perform home health care for the elderly and people with disabilities, bus service for rural areas and other projects. "It's going to get hard," says Shar Simpson, who leads the Crow's home health care program. "We're already taking calls from people saying, 'Who's going to take care of my mom? Who's going to take care of my dad?'"

    7. Illinois Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Agencies

    Via dailyherald.com

    The state's Department of Human Services has enough money to fund WIC for about two weeks, after that, it won't be able to afford to buy baby formula that it provides to more than 600 single mothers.

    8. Idaho Missing Woman Search

    Photo by Daniel Mayer / Via cbsnews.com

    Jo Elliott-Blakeslee, 63, was missing at Craters of the Moon National Monument and the search was temporarily called off after furloughs set in. Law prohibits federal government employees from volunteering for the search, since it would be unfunded work, so the remaining monument staff are trying to recruit capable volunteers from outside their office.

    9. National Labor Relations Board Workers

    Lynn Rhinehart, general counsel of the AFL-CIO, says the NLRB, the government agency that helps protect workers' rights, cannot process unfair labor practice charges or hold elections. There are no hearings taking place when employers violate workers' rights. And workers who were scheduled to vote in elections about getting a union on the job are having those elections pushed off. "Basically," says Rhinehart, "there is no labor law right now.”

    10. South Dakota National Guard

    Via kdlt.com

    The majority of the National Guard employees in South Dakota have been laid off, which spokesman Maj. Anthony Deiss says will hurt their ability to maintain vehicles, aircraft, and other equipment, and could impact training for regular guard members.

    11. California Air Disaster Investigations

    Via latimes.com

    The National Transportation Safety Board suspended its investigation into the crash of a private jet in Santa Monica that killed four people.

    12. Minnesota Social Security Offices

    AFGE / Via minnesota.cbslocal.com

    Offices are closed and residents like Jeff Williams can't get new or replacement Social Security cards or proof of income letters. “I can’t shut down and not take care of this little one,” he says, referring to his daughter. “I mean, they’re the government. They’re supposed to be taking care of us.”

    Via AFL-CIO Soundcloud

    Listen to a rally that happened last Friday outside the U.S. Capitol, where locked-out workers tell Congress they want to get back to work.

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