(KSTU) — The Utah AFL-CIO has had a food pantry for years because there are often union members laid off of seasonal work, or whose industries are in a downturn, but this is the first time members of federal employee unions have been in need.
“There’s a lot of unfairness in it,” said Utah AFL-CIO President Jeff Worthington.
Worthington said the practice of labeling employees as ‘essential’ and then forcing work without pay is particularly unfair.
“It’s real sad that our government workers are being punished for the government being shut down and for Washington D.C. not being able to do their job,” Worthington said.
The AFL-CIO is a collection of unions, including those that represent employees of the Transportation Security Administration and Air Traffic Controllers.
Members of the Postal Workers Unions are contributing to food and money drive efforts to support unpaid federal workers. The postal service is funded separately and has not been affected by the shutdown.
If you would like to contribute to the unions’ efforts to provide food and gift cards, call Utah Labor Community Services at (801) 972-2771.