More than 800,000 government workers were locked out or forced to work without pay for 35 days in the longest government shutdown in the history of the United States. In a statement made last week, the AFL-CIO called the shutdown a "needless and manufactured crisis" affecting real families with real financial responsibilities and jeopardizing the safety of our nation. "This debacle could have and should have been avoided," said the national union.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka fully credited the collective action of working people for bringing about the shutdown's end. By marching, rallying and protesting together, workers forced their hand and ensured that the labor and dedication of our public servants will not be taken for granted, he said. "However, this fight is far from over. Federal workers urgently need their back pay distributed; in the case of federal contractors, they still need it to be authorized. And both deserve a long-term funding bill—not one that leaves them hanging with just a single guaranteed paycheck," said Trumka.
The resolution to reopen the government until Feb. 15, 2019, gives the president and congressional leaders three weeks to find a long-term solution to fully fund the government. Without a resolution, federal workers could see their paychecks come to a halt once again. "This is a temporary fix to an extraordinary failure of governance. The president and Congress can expect to continue hearing from us until they do their jobs," said Trumka. Read personal stories of the shutdown and more.