‘It’s very difficult’: Local NASA employees affected by government shutdown

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CLEVELAND — The impact of the partial government shutdown is being felt by federal workers in Northeast Ohio now that government paychecks are not being sent.

Paul Greenberg works as a NASA scientist in Cleveland.

He’s also executive director of his labor union for NASA employees.

This is the first day Greenberg and many federal workers did not receive a paycheck since the shutdown started last month.

“Well, it’s very stressful, you know; we’re not being paid,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg and his coworkers have been off the job for 21 days.

His fellow workers have to worry about making car payments, house payments and other bills.

“Since I’m an officer in the union I hear a lot from our employees and it’s very difficult. Some of them are in very trying financial situations, plus we take our jobs very seriously,” Greenberg said. “The financial implications to individual employees is very real,” he added.

Many workers will get back pay when the shutdown ends, but when?

Greenberg is anxious as Congress and President Trump are at odds over building a border wall.

Greenberg never thought in his 30 years as a federal employee at NASA there would be a government shutdown over a wall. He’s been through three shutdowns during his time there.

“I would have to say this particular situation is rather unique and unanticipated and surprising and it caught a lot of us off guard as well,” Greenberg said.

Read more on the government shutdown.

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