Union workers from the Covington IRS facility walked a picket line Thursday afternoon, protesting the partial government shutdown. President of National Treasury Employees Union Local 73 Debbie Mullikin says the workers who haven't been furloughed won't be getting paid this weekend.
"I don't know who's at fault. I'm not privy to the internal negotiations that go on, so I have no idea who's at fault for this," Mullikin says. "All I know is that we didn't make this policy. We like our jobs; we want to do our jobs; and we want to get paid to do our jobs."
She says IRS employees face the possibility of missing rent or mortgage payments. "I have a young lady; she has three kids. This is her sole source of income. She's not going to get a paycheck tomorrow or next month, and her landlord is not willing to forgo the rent."
Mullikin says she's reached out to senators and representatives. "I've emailed, and I've called. Their voice message boxes are full. Their email boxes are full. So far, I've not received a response. And I've also sent a letter to the president and haven't received a response on that either."
She says there's no indication workers will receive back pay once the shutdown ends. More than 1,800 people work at the facility, and only 240 have been identified as "essential."
That means some work will be delayed. "Maybe in the future folks will be able to get their refunds. But at this point in time we're not processing any returns. We're depositing checks, but we're not processing returns," she says.