‘Pay the Workers, Furlough Trump’: Federal Workers Rally for End to Shutdown

Furloughed federal employees and out-of-work contractors greeted one another Thursday with a sarcastic nickname that, on the 20th day of a partial government shutdown, captured their feeling of powerlessness: “Hello, fellow pawns.”

They shouted it to one another over the brutal wind and bitter cold on Thursday in downtown Washington, where hundreds gathered to demand government leaders put an end to the shutdown and allow them to get back to work.

“I want our politicians to get to the table and work out a meaningful plan,” said Anand Desai, 36, an auditor with the Internal Revenue Service from Prince William County, Va. “They need to just solve it and stop using federal workers and the services we provide as a bargaining chip.”

Leaders of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) said they hoped bringing federal workers to the president’s doorstep would show him whom the shutdown has hurt most.

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