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 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.
It’s not much, but I’ve opened up my two movie theaters in Michigan for free to all federal government employees and their families. Popcorn and pop is free, too. The bigger issue: Trump must end his shutdown now. pic.twitter.com/buWkJJA9h6
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.