Dozens demonstrate in downtown Tucson following shutdown end

Furloughed workers rally downtown

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Dozens took to Tucson’s downtown streets Friday afternoon to make their voices heard after the big announcement to end the shutdown until February 15.

Almost any furloughed employee would say the same thing, times have been tough.

“Savings are drying up,” said Moses Sterngast - who works for the census bureau. “I’m ready to go back to work and ready to go back with pay.”

That's what led dozens to demonstrate on Friday afternoon outside the federal building in the heart of Tucson.

Downtown Tucson rally for federal workers. (Source: KOLD News 13)
Downtown Tucson rally for federal workers. (Source: KOLD News 13)

"They're sort of being held hostage in the midst of all this," said Trish Muir, who works in the airline industry. She's not a government employee herself, but she knows many of them - from TSA agents to air traffic controllers. "They're working under incredible amounts of pressure -- they do that day in and day out anyway without worrying when they'll be paid again."

She called this a national security issue. She came out to support those friends and colleagues, sign in hand - despite President Trump's announcement to reopen the government temporarily.

"A three week reopening so they can have conversations is a start," she said.

She and others want to make it known, though, they want a permanent solution, "It really depends on the ability for the parties to work together to find a resolution that's mutually agreeable."

In the meantime, furloughed employees are eager to get back to their daily lives, while they wait for Congress to decide their fate by mid-February.

“I’m hoping that in three weeks they can gain some traction and closure,” said Sterngast.

Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.