CLEVELAND (WJW) – Transportation Security Administration workers in Northeast Ohio are
preparing for a possible government shutdown on Oct. 1.

“We shouldn’t be used as pawns to get their political views across. It’s hard on our people when they want you to come to work and they are trying to figure out how they are going to pay their
bills,” said Aaron Bankston, president of AFGE Local 615.

Bankston said TSA workers in Ohio will continue working but won’t get paid until the shutdown ends.

“These people depend on child care, they have to pay for gas to get to the airport to protect the flying public,” said Bankston.

Bankston says workers will get back pay once the shutdown is over. However, during the last shutdown back in 2018, many workers called in sick because they struggled to pay for expenses to come into work.

“That is going to affect the public. It’s going to affect your passport, your Pre-Check. It’s going to be a lot,” said Bankston.

At the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, workers are preparing to wind down operations.

“It’s a huge facility. All of these facilities are quite complex. They are not like a light switch you can turn on, turn off. They have to be prepared to be put into a safe mode,” said Andrew Trunek, president of the Lewis Engineers and Scientists Association, Local 28 of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers.

Trunek said workers are preparing to be furloughed without pay.

“People still have mortgages, rent, grocery bills, things that need to be paid,” said Trunek.

Trunek said staff will most likely find out Monday if they are being sent home.

“We would much rather come to work than stay home in an unpaid situation,” said Trunek.

“We’ve still got to do our job, no matter what. If it does shut down, we’ve still go to do our jobs and coming in and not getting paid will be hard to do,” said Bankston.