The Washington Post

Government shutdown prompts federal worker protests

Countdown to closure:

Federal employees are taking their concerns about a government shutdown to the streets this week in a series of rallies across the country.


Hundreds of federal workers from across the Midwest are expected to rally Thursday outside the main federal building in Chicago. Employees from the departments of Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Labor and Veterans Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency, Social Security Administration and Railroad Retirement Board are expected to join organizers from the American Federation of Government Employees, the nation’s largest federal worker union.

Though most of the focus is on how a federal shutdown could impact workers and operations in Washington, D.C., remember that about 85 percent of all federal employees live and work beyond the Beltway.

Locally, AFGE organized a similar rally Wednesday outside SSA regional offices in Falls Church.

On Friday as many as 500 American diplomats are expected to take to the streets in Washington. The American Foreign Service Association is encouraging members to gather Friday at noon at Edward J. Kelly Park on Virginia Ave. NW to show support for colleagues across the government.

Employees from the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development, union officials and maybe some lawmakers are expected to attend and speak.

Despite the images and emotions such gatherings would generate, it’s unclear what if any impact they’d have on budget negotiations between lawmakers and President Obama.

If you hear of similar rallies happening in D.C. or nationwide, e-mail us or share details in the comments section below. And if your agency begins sharing more information Thursday about its shutdown contingency plans, please share it.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

ALSO WORTH A READ TODAY: How will government workers cope with losing access to their PDA? The economic impact of a shutdown would increase by the day.

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Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.


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