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Federal workers to Congress: 'Stop this insanity'

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Sarah Hulett
/
Michigan Radio
Federal workers protest the government shutdown outside the federal building in Detroit.

Employees with the Veterans Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the Defense department were out in front of the federal building in Detroit today to protest the government shutdown.

Many of them are on furlough. But some, including Michael Guerriero, who works for the Social Security Administration, are still working.

Guerriero says the shutdown is still causing headaches for his co-workers and the people who need Social Security cards, or letters to verify their benefits. During the shutdown, those services are on hold.

Guerriero says about half the people who come in asking for services the office can’t provide.

“And you’re telling them, ‘not today, keep watching the papers and when this is over we can get one for you,’” said Guerriero, who is also the union local president for Southeast Michigan Social Security Administration workers.

The protestors carried signs reading “Let Us Work,” and “Lockout Hurts Families.”

Joe Dolan helped organize the protest. He’s a national representative for the American Federation of Government Employees. Dolan says their message to Congress is simple:

“Stop this insanity.”

Sarah Hulett is Michigan Radio’s Director of Enterprise & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.