BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - On Thursday, at high noon, roughly a dozen federal employees gathered outside the federal courthouse in Tuscaloosa hoping to send a strong, clear message.
“Stop--the shutdown! Stop--the shutdown!” they yelled.
Representing the Veteran’s Association, federal prisons and all employees with the American Federation of Government Employees union, those taking part in the informational rally say their message is targeted.
“We just want Senator (Richard) Shelby and the public to know we are hurting right now because of the lack of pay,” said Terrence Windham, one of the rally organizers.
“It’s about basically being able to eat. It is not about politics with this. And it shouldn’t be. It should be about us wanting our workers to be able to bring home a check to be able to eat, pay our bills, keep lights on,” said Leverette Knox.
Knox joined the rally in spite of walking on a cane. He works for the VA and while he’s still getting paid, he knows some of his fellow union members are not.
“I feel their pain and just like that, it could be me next,” Knox says.
With the 21st day of the shutdown coming Friday, if it continues it will be the first paycheck employees will miss.
Participants feel their voice will make a difference.
“This is not the last rally we’ll have if the shutdown continues,” Windham says.