Veterans affairs workers voice shutdown concerns, plan rally - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Veterans affairs workers voice shutdown concerns, plan local rally

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Local federal workers are speaking out about the government shutdown. They are announcing plans to stage a rally right here in Richmond.

It is being sponsored by the American Federation of Government Employees.

"I accepted a public service job because I wanted to help," said Tamara Lundy. "The government is making it hard for me to help."

Local Department of Veteran Affairs workers say morale is low on the job.

"How are people feeling now?" we asked.

"Frustrated," replied the group of women.

They say lawmakers inaction on Capitol Hill is starting to take a toll as concerned veterans flood the phone lines.

"I get those calls every day," said Lundy recalling the questions asked. "Am I going to get a check? Am I going to be seen? They've been waiting on their spousal benefits but they can't get them processed because we are on a shutdown."

There is a long list of services to veterans impacted by the government shutdown.

You get the following message if you contact the Department of Labor.

"This customer service line for the division of federal employees compensation is temporarily unavailable due to suspension of federal government service," says the recording. "If you are calling about a life threatening situation or imminent threat to safety, please call 911."

Mintina Minto says she has seen direct negative results of the government shutdown.

"Our employees at the VHA hospitals," said Minto. "If they are out on a work-related injury, they are not getting paid because the Department of Labor is out on suspension."

The American Federation of Government employees is planning a local rally next Wednesday, October 16th at Kanahwa Plaza from noon until 2PM.

"We're fighting for our veterans," said Unique Clary with AFGE. "We're fighting for our veterans who are employees trying to give back."

Minto says this is a scary time.

"Every day it's always a letter threatening whether it is even going to be allocated for us to even have a job the next day," said Minto. "It is really scary."

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