Some valley workers feeling the pinch of the government shutdown - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Some valley workers feeling the pinch of the government shutdown

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

The valley is beginning to feel more of an impact of the government shutdown. More than 300 federal workers in Columbiana faced a Friday without a paycheck. While local agencies that provide critical services such as food and housing are holding their breath in hopes that things get resolved soon.

This first no-pay pay day is pushing frustration to a higher level for corrections workers at the Elkton Federal Prison. The more than 300 members of the American Federation of Government Employees are required to report for work even though they won't be paid. The local president says it's a real hardship for families who live on a budget.

"They're actually moving around monies to try to figure out and prioritize which bills they need to be paying next week and which bills they're going to have to forfeit," said Local 607 Union President Joseph Mayle.

Mayle says this government practice was challenged during the last shutdown in 2013 and should not be happening again.

"It's against the law under the Fair Labor Standards Act to force employees to work without receiving their paycheck in the pay period in which they worked it, why haven't they fixed this," said Mayle

Also making a case to permanently end government shutdowns is U.S Senator Rob Portman who has re-introduced legislation he's been fighting for for more than a decade.

"I don't like them, they don't make sense. They don't help the tax payers. tax payers always end up paying more frankly," said Portman. 

U.S Senator Sherrod Brown said if the President won't act to keep the government open, Congress should.

"Congress has got to do it's job and if the President is going to dig in, Congress needs to bring this up and pass it and override the President's veto. If that's what it comes to," said Brown.

In the meantime, food banks around the country could face increased demand if the shutdown lasts much longer.

"Once we have more information on whats to come with the SNAP benefits and other things our agencies will stand ready to help support any increase we might see," Becky Miller with Second Harvest Food Bank said. 

Government housing also depends on federal dollars, and right now housing subsidies are only funded through February.

 "If we extend beyond that time then we would have to look at how the housing authority would remain open," according to Jason Whitehead, Director of The Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority.


 

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