Federal employees who are working without pay filed a legal action against partial closure of the United States government.
The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) filed a lawsuit Tuesday against U.S. President Donald Trump's administration for the partial closure of the government, the Washington Post reported.
In justifying this class action suit, the plaintiffs contend that more than 400,000 federal employees - who are considered "essential" due to their jobs being related to human life safety or property protection - have been required to work without pay since Dec. 22, 2018.
The NTEU action was filed three days after Trump affirmed he doesn't care that "most of the workers are not getting paid are Democrats."
The U.S. government's partial closure is a way by which President Trump is pressuring the U.S. Congress to approve a budget of US$5.7 billion for the construction of a border wall to thwart the entry of Central American migrants.
The shutdown, however, is punishing the most vulnerable segments of the U.S. population. For example, 38 million citizens who depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are affected by the reduction or suspension of the distribution of the program coupons. Also, patients of nursing homes are affected because their health depends on the normal functioning of public services.
Jeffrey David Cox, the national president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), said that "federal employees are absolutely, totally and without reservation against this closure of the government... We want this closure finish in this same minute."
The AFGE president also criticized the inaction toward workers' rights that the United States leader and other politicians demonstrate by allowing the closure of the government to continue.
"We are opposed to being kidnapped. We are opposed to collateral damage. We oppose the use of extortion, instead of reasoned debate. We oppose politicians who think so little about us," Cox emphasized.