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A Manufactured Crisis

Tom Chamberlain, Oregon AFL-CIO president
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Eight hundred thousand workers. That is the number of government employees and contractors impacted by President Trump’s shutdown of the federal government. The average take home pay of impacted workers is around $500 per week, and any financial uncertainty is sure to cause stress and anxiety over how to make ends meet. Each day of this manufactured crisis, working families lose money for housing, healthcare and groceries — the essentials we need to get by. These 800,000 workers are in all 50 states and include air traffic controllers and transportation security officers from Portland to Medford. Workers at national parks across the west are furloughed. The shutdown’s impact goes beyond the actual employees of the government as well: Countless Americans feel the impact of this dangerous stalemate. 

Working people and their livelihoods should never be used as political pawns, but that is exactly what the shutdown has become due to President Trump’s incessant demand for $5.7 billion to start building a wall along our nation’s southern border.

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