Federal prison workers plan to march to State Capitol

Posted: 4:49 PM, Jan 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-09 16:49:00-05
Federal prison workers plan to march to State Capitol
Federal prison workers plan to march to State Capitol

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - It's day 19 of the partial government shutdown and the impacts continue to be felt by federal employees in Tallahassee. 

Now some who work at the federal prison in town will take their concerns to the state, literally.  

WTXL ABC 27's Stephen Jiwanmall has been talking to members of the prison's labor union since the shutdown started. 

So far, they've been showing up for duty, not sure when they'll get paid, but on Thursday several of them will rally at the Capitol to send an even louder message. 

"I don't think anybody wants to volunteer to work at a federal prison," said Cornelius Jones, Union Steward at AFGE Local 1570. 

Frustration is building at FCI Tallahassee. A union representing 200 prison employees will lead a march downtown Thursday. 

"If nothing else, I think it raises awareness, and it lets Congress know that, you know, we're serious about getting paid," said Ray Coleman, President of AFGE Local 1570. "We're serious about upholding our end of the bargain and them upholding their end of the bargain." 

President Donald Trump's message Tuesday night didn't do much to encourage some union members we talked to. 

"To say that we'll adjust -- yes, that's true," said Melinda Mason, Union Steward at AFGE Local 1570. "We will adjust, but should we have to be forced to adjust in a situation that we didn't even put ourselves in in the first place?" 

With employees facing more financial pressure each day, the union said it hopes the rally will put a face on a situation it says affects not just federal workers, but everyone.  

"It's not about red or blue. It's about green, which is, you know, getting the paycheck. At the end of the day, we go behind that fence, and we're all one team," said Coleman. "We're all one family, so we just need them to get it together and come up with a resolution to open the government up." 

That rally will start Thursday at 11:30 a.m. The group will walk from the Tallahassee AFL-CIO building to the state capitol.

The shutdown is also having a major impact on immigration court.