KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Hundreds of demonstrators are expected outside of Union Station Thursday for a rally to reopen the government, where just across the street is the IRS building, where employees are working without pay.
A correctional officer spoke with KCTV5 Wednesday ahead of the challenges his family will face as this shutdown fight continues.
“It’s pretty demoralizing… yeah,” said James Thomasee, Correctional Officer.
After 20 years of law enforcement at the Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary, Thomasee’s dangerous duties will go unrewarded, for now.
“Come Friday, that’s when the rubber hits the road, things start getting real,” expressed Thomasee.
Because he and hundreds of other correctional officers will not be paid as the government shutdown reaches day 19.
“Mainly, it’s worrying about if this goes too long whether you can just cover any of it at all,” said Thomasee.
That includes everyday bills such as the mortgage, car payment and child care. And he’s not the only one facing financial hardship, some of his co-workers have serious medical needs and are living pay check to paycheck which isn’t coming Friday.
“There are people that are struggling already, and this is not making it any easier,” expressed Thomasee.
American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal union in the country, is suing the government and encourages its hundreds of thousands of members to call on Congress and the President to reopen the government.
“Everybody wants a safe border I guarantee you that and AFGE represents many people at the border patrol and ICE. We want the best for America but the best for America is not people, hundreds of thousands of people, not getting their paycheck,” said Fred McDuff, AGFE Union.
Union Representative, McDuff says up to 14,000 federal workers locally will not be paid.
“It may take up to a month after that until people get paid. The thought that people should adjust in the meantime isn’t practical,” explained McDuff.
Leaving some of the most dedicated workers with no security.
“I have a wife and four kids,” said Thomasee
Thomasse can’t be at the rally Thursday. He’s stuck working without pay. He also finds it ironic that Wednesday is national law enforcement day.