Federal prison workers protest shutdown in front of state Capitol


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Federal prison workers protested Thursday morning in front of the state Capitol, demanding Congress and President Donald Trump act to reopen the federal government.

The protest was organized by the union representing prison workers in Tallahassee, where the partial government shutdown has already resulted in employees losing part of a paycheck.

Friday will be the first full paycheck employees will not receive.

Ray Coleman Jr., president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1570, said the president’s assertion that federal workers support the shut down is simply not true.

"The general consensus is, 'Hey, let's come together and open the government so we can get paid and you guys can dialogue about that and come to a consensus about whatever we need to do to move forward, but pay us for the jobs we're doing in the meantime,'" Coleman said. "You know we don't like being political pawns in a political chess match."

Coleman estimates Florida is home to between 3,000 and 4,000 federal prison workers.

A total of 800,000 federal employees nationwide are either working without pay or have been furloughed as a result of the shutdown.