PLANTATION, Fla. - Federal workers who have been furloughed from the Internal Revenue Service were at the IRS building in Plantation on Thursday to protest the government shutdown, saying they want to work.
"Furloughed means we are on an unemployed leave," Kathy Kulani, of the National Treasury Employees Union, said. "We don't know if we are going to get paid, so it is a misconception that we are definitely going to get paid."
Normally, 400 federal employees would be buzzing about the complex, but now there isn't even an employee available to raise the flag to full staff.
"Let us work. Resolve the issues later. Don't use us as your pawns," IRS employee Michael Reed said. "You are hurting a lot of people and, yes, the landlords do care if they don't get their rent."
Friday is payday and federal workers know there is no check in the mail.
"I want to get back to work. Currently, if this goes much longer, we are going to have to start paying for all of our benefits and that will be a hardship," Randi Golden said.
Protester Jack Kelly said he was trying to pay his taxes that are due, but he cannot access the system.
Kelly said that, because of the shutdown, he will have to put a check in the mail.
"I hope they don't penalize me for being late now," he said.
For many, the worst part is the uncertainty.
"(I'm) very concerned about how long this is going to go. I mean, it was last week when the president said this could go months or a year," Kulani said.
U.S. Coast Guard personnel are also among those who will not be receiving a paycheck Friday due to the partial government shutdown.
The branch's Mutual Assistance Program is currently offering short-term loans to service members.
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