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October 10, 2013 at 8:20 PM

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Local federal employees rally amid shutdown


BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

At a rally at the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building in downtown Seattle, Joel Espinoza, of Lakewood, a corrections officer at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, chants against the government shutdown. Employees at the federal prison are considered "essential," meaning they are being forced to work without pay. Espinoza supports two children and is also an Army veteran receiving military benefits that are in danger of lapsing because of the shutdown. Federal employees from the Department of Justice, Social Security, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Education also participated in the rally Thursday Oct. 10, 2013.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Geraldine Bowers, of Tacoma, is a cook supervisor at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac. Bowers is the main breadwinner in her family of five, and said that "everything is on the wire," for her family during the shutdown. "We're putting our lives at risk and we don't get paid," said Bowers. The ratio of inmates to staff is about 5-1 at the facility, one of the highest in the country, according to the corrections officers participating in the rally.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Federal employees from the Department of Justice, Social Security, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Education participated in a rally against the government shutdown. Many federal employees are considered "essential," meaning they are being forced to work without pay.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Angela Tucker, of Renton, a corrections officer at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, holds a sign urging Congress to pass a continuing resolution to end the government shutdown. Tucker recently had a baby and had just returned from maternity leave before the shutdown.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Federal workers walked out to the plaza to participate in a protest against the government shutdown at the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building in downtown Seattle.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Joel Espinoza, of Lakewood, left, a corrections officer at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, talks with Inspector Cruz, who's with the Department of Homeland Security, at the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building in Seattle. Cruz used to work for the prison before switching jobs to Homeland Security less than a year ago. He asked to do the security detail on the protest since all the protesters are his former co-workers. Cruz is also working without pay.

Most Popular Comments
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There is no one working without pay, they will all be paid when this is over. No one... MORE
Since the government is "shut down" shouldn't these people be let go to... MORE
The same people you see carrying signs in Seattle are the same idiots who elected that... MORE

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