Government shutdown affecting local workers

ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WITN) One of the longest government shutdowns in American history is having a growing impact here in the east, including on the U.S. Coast Guard's Special Mission's Training Center at Camp Lejeune.

U.S. Coast Guard Training Specialist Yaumin Sanchez says in addition to losing out on his pay, "My wife is actually on medical leave. So we're actually not going to have her paycheck."

Sanchez has been through previous shutdowns, but says this one has hit hardest. He says, "Obstacles and challenges more than last time because at the training center we're trying to get back to normal operations after the hurricane and then you have the holidays after that and now furlough so that's kind of added to the challenges."

Sanchez is one of roughly 20 government employees that work for the Coast Guard at Camp Lejeune. He's also one of 7000 local government employees who are part of the American Federation for Government Employees, or AFGE.

Albert Burgess with AFGE says, "You've got employees who aren't working worrying about paying child support, bills, worrying about paying their rent and their mortgages and stuff like that, and a few of the employees are right here on Lejeune"

Officials say the Coast Guard still has essential employees working locally, as does the TSA. However, whether they're working or not, none of them will be payed if the shutdown persists.

Sanchez says, "Definitely hoping that they can figure things out and provide the leadership that we are expecting."

Coast Guard search and rescue personnel, as well as hazardous material specialists, must continue to work without pay through the shutdown officials say, in order to maintain essential operations.