The Government Shutdown Is Turning Prison The Government Shutdown Faces Lawsuits 1 day ago   06:36

FRESNO, Calif. — Aaron McGlothin, 43, works as a corrections officer at the federal prison in Mendota, California. He’s had a decades-long, stable career in corrections. But with no paycheck in sight due to the government shutdown, he’s started driving for Uber to help make ends meet.

“It can be a little embarrassing,” he told VICE News while driving around Fresno in the rain on Saturday, looking for rides. “The embarrassing thing is, it's like, well — you have a job, you know? And then when people see this they're going to realize that, well heck yeah you got a job, but you're not getting paid.”

It’s a slow day, and after two hours Ubering McGlothin makes less than $10 — but at this point, anything’s worth it.

“I live paycheck to paycheck,” he said. “I've got to have food on my table. I've got to have gas in my tank to get to and from work because I'm not getting paid. I've got to have heat, gotta have my lights on. I've got to have my electricity on.”

McGlothin is one of 40,000 Federal Bureau of Prisons staffers nationwide, most of whom were deemed “essential” and therefore required to work without pay until the shutdown ends. Bureau staffers say they’re already dealing with low morale after years of cutbacks in their prisons, meaning more inmates with fewer guards and gear they worry is inadequate to protect them.

And now they’re working without knowing when they’ll get paid.

“Everybody's scared. They don't know what the hell's going on because this is different than 2013. We all went through the 2013 shutdown and it was 16 days,” McGlothin said. “There was a different sense in Washington. They wanted to reopen. There's not that sense right now.”

The uncertainty means that some employees are having to forego child support payments, leave healthcare bills unpaid and choosing between putting food on the table or enough gas in their tanks to go to work. And John Kostelnik, a local union president at the federal prison complex in Victorville, Calif., says he’s worried about the mental toll the stress may take on his workers.

“You walk behind these prison walls and deal with the worst of the worst. See some things you never want to see in your entire life,” he said.

“My staff are dealing with a lot of issues, and this is just weighing down on them even further. And that's one of my biggest fears — is that this is going to drive somebody over that over that line and something bad is going to happen.”

Kostelnik said that in the last two years two employees in the Victorville have committed suicide.

Kostelnik and McGlothin said they disagree with Trump's insistence that federal workers support his standoff with Democrats over funding for the border wall. And Edward Canelas, a veteran and union leader at a federal prison in Dublin, Calif., who voted for Trump in 2016 said he was "very insulted" by the president's comments.

"You said ‘I'm going to take care of them veterans and I'm going to take care of law enforcement.’ I haven't seen it. With all due respect to the president of United States, I have not seen it."

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Comments 6749 Comments

“My staff are dealing with a lot of issues, and this is just weighing down on them even further. And that's one of my biggest fears — is that this is going to drive somebody over that over that line and something bad is going to happen.”
WATCH NEXT: Driving For Uber, Sleeping In Her Car -
unique username
0:17 Uber is $25 an hour before vehicle maintenance and gas.
I have a small mazda as well. Closer to $15 an hour after expenses during peak times
Still better than nothing I but not a long term solution
Chris P. Bacon
Fresno :D
The horse goes a head ( in front of...) set carnage. !!!!!
Eddy Hernan
what are you saing with hand movements. om. signs. cult. lsd talk. you are omg.really get some guevos.thou shalt not know this.y
Matt G
So they work for the government but don’t get paid during shutdown? WTF this would never happen in the U.K or Europe. Shutdown or not all public sector/government workers would get paid. How is the American Government allowed to get away with this? Is the American Government not taxing people during this shutdown? Because if they are that’s hypocrisy to the highest level. God damn America you have your 2nd amendment put it into use. Hold your Government responsible go on national strike, if not your all words and no action!
Benson Hedges
Theyre gonna be dancing in the streets when theyre backpayed 5gs each, youd think the banks would not be charging gov workers during the shutdown also, glad i know how to save and be thrifty tho
Lmao walls work. Where did they find these bums?
Priscilla Raeburn
😯oh shit
Adam Stokes
You supported trump, and now you see the out come of your discisions. I dont feel sorry for anyone who supports trump because he won the election from racism and ingnorace.
thank you so much
Please support the victims
Thank you!
Garrett Craney
Just waiting for a mass prison break out
Alaiddin Emre Özyurt
Is it me or is Donald Trump taking the american people as hostages?
„Pay for this Wall and during that time, they will suffer.“
Dorian Bernard
Over 700,000 illegal immigrants flew into the United States in 2018 and overstayed their work and regular visa.🤔
Alex Chacat
hahah suffer! loved it!
Dorian Bernard
41 terrorist that was on the terrorist list we're caught trying to come through Canada in 2018. Only six that was on the terrorist list was caught trying to come through Mexico. Most of the drugs that are smuggled into the United States come through ports and through the border line smuggled in trucks and cars.
Dorian Bernard
The millions of voters that voted and support Trump should just agree , to give up$1,000 of their tax return to support and build the wall. It should be a tax deductible option this year then you truly see who's in favor and for the wall. 😂🤣
Prototype 176708
I am so sorry this is terrible. Trump is destroying us.
Fulgencio Factor
Free the prisoners!
milk milk
Yall voted for your own job loss.
Add Reply

The Government Shutdown Faces Lawsuits The Government Shutdown Is Turning Prison 1 day ago   04:47

The government shutdown is official the longest on record, and as a result, novel legal challenges are being filed against the practice of forcing federal employees to work without a regular paycheck. If any of them succeed, it could change the way the next government shutdown plays out.

American consumers could lose faith in the economy if federal workers don't go back to work soon, Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi warned Friday.

"If this drags on into February, March, then growth rates are going to fall to a place where unemployment will start to rise," Zandi said in a CNBC interview. "That's fodder for recession."

Shortly after Zandi's appearance on "Squawk Box," the University of Michigan said its preliminary reading on consumer sentiment for January showed a drop to its weakest level since Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016.

Zandi said the economy was looking "wobbly" heading into the new year even before the start of the partial government shutdown, the longest on record, which on Friday entered Day 28.

"If you go back a year ago, GDP growth was closer to 4 percent. That was all juiced up by the deficit-financed tax cuts," he said. "Now we're down to about 2 [percent.] And if the shutdown drags on we'll probably go below 2 [percent.] And that's a key threshold."

The economic drag from a shutdown lasting until the end of the first quarter could be as much as 0.5 percent, Zandi estimated, though he hopes President Donald Trump and Democrats can resolve their funding differences and send the 800,000 federal employees back to work.
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