AFGE President Cox, House Democratic Leader Pelosi address federal employees as shutdown enters third week
Cox, Pelosi stress need for swift end to damaging shutdown in phone calls to AFGE members
WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) National President J. David Cox Sr. thanked House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi for joining him this evening on two teleconference calls with AFGE members to address the government shutdown.
"Leader Pelosi has been an unwavering supporter of federal employees during the government shutdown and a strong leader in the effort to put a stop to it," Cox said. "I am grateful she took time out of her busy schedule to engage our members on their frustrations about being locked out of their jobs."
AFGE has held teletown halls with members each of the past three weeks as the shutdown, now in its 15th day, has put more and more stress on federal employees' finances. On average over 25,000 members have phoned in to each of the weekly calls.
Federal employees are still reeling from three years of frozen pay, cuts to retirement benefits, and up to six unpaid furlough days resulting from the first round of sequestration cuts. Between the pay freeze and retirement cuts alone, federal workers already have contributed $105 billion in deficit reduction. As talks of a deal progress in the House and Senate, AFGE stands ready to fight any measure undermining federal employees' hard-earned pay and benefits.
"Let me be clear – federal workers must not be treated like a bargaining chip at the negotiating table," Cox said. "Federal workers already have sacrificed more than their fair share. We are telling all members of Congress – Democrats and Republicans – that enough is enough. No more cuts, no more furloughs, period."
Cox continued, "Federal employees are proud of the work they do and are deeply dedicated to their agencies' missions. There is no justification for Congress using federal employees to pay a ransom. We will not allow their pay, benefits, and jobs to be put back on the chopping block."
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees