Federal workers in Boston protest Trump shutdown; North End restaurant to feed furloughed workers on Monday

Protest in Post Office Square

Roman Lilligren looked down this afternoon to see furloughed federal workers assembled in Post Office Square for a protest against the Trump showdown.

Sen. Ed Markey joined them.

Pauli's on Salem Street in the North End says it will provide free food to furloughed workers and their families between 1 and 3 p.m. on Monday.

I’m not talking politics, or taking sides in regards to the #governmentshutdown. What I’m seeing is that people are not getting paychecks, they can’t pay their bills and they’re suffering. As a small business it’s hard to know what to do to help, so I’m doing the only thing I can do.



Free tagging: 



I hope the owner realizes

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I hope the owner realizes that a typical federal employee ("fed") is not living paycheck to paycheck, and with the expectation of receiving back pay, is not distressed about the shutdown. It's like free vacation, at the expense of a blip in cash flow.

The real brunt will be felt by federal contractors. In many agencies contractors outnumber employees, and most of them will not get back pay when this thing is over, though contractors can claim state unemployment benefits.


Depends on the contract

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If you're making widgets for the DoD or NASA and you get a stop work order, you can certainly pay your people but not out of the money you receive from the government.

If you're Northrop Grumman or BAE, you've potentially got money to do that. If, however you're a mom and pop staffing firm that sends accountants and admins and code monkeys around to whoever needs them, you're not exactly swimming in cash yourself.

Outfits like that can be huge or they can be no more than a few guys in an office trolling jobs.gov or the like, brokering resumes, and skimming a couple of dollars an hour off of the people they send out.

not sure where you get your information

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but as a former Federal Employee; I was distressed during a shutdown. I ran very close to living paycheck to paycheck. I certainly did not look upon my time off as a vacation. Most folks I know felt/feel the same way now, Not being able to pay bills affects so much more than running behind. It also affects government clearance; which affects being able to stay working for Uncle Sam.

There are a lot of people and businesses affected by a government shutdown, Contractors are of course hit very hard - as you say - will not recoup money from not working. Local businesses in areas of high number of Feds will see income drop while expenses remaining the same.

This is such a shame. Given the number of times this has happened since 1995; provisions should be enacted to prevent this from ever happening again.


I'm a furloughed fed

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I hit my 15 year mark during this shutdown. And yes, I am now doing well enough financially that I can afford to wait for a paycheck. But it wasn't always that way.

I started as a student in 2004, as a GS 3. That paid about $8 an hour back then. It was a 50% pay cut from my old job, but I was thinking long term and this one came with more flexibility and paid time off.

Partially because I kept working there throughout school and making less than I could have elsewhere, I took on a lot of debt in college. I am still paying that back, with another 6 or 7 years to go.

When I graduated in 2007, I got hired... At a GS 7 salary, then about $37k. I made so little that first year that I had to defer my student loan payments (with accrued interest piling up) while I waited for my first raise, even though I had sold my car and shared a 2 bedroom apartment with my girlfriend and another roommate, splitting the rent 3 ways. Other people in my graduating class took jobs that started at $50k (one got a job in Houston at $90k his first year) but I believed in the mission of my agency and I wanted to stay in Boston, so I again took a pay cut.

It was about 5 years after graduation (so about 9 years total) before my salary was high enough to feel comfortable missing a paycheck or two. Those 9 years, my college classmates in the private sector all made more than me. Now we're about even, but I am still making up for a decade of lower earnings.

Lots of my colleagues are younger than I am and have more debt at lower salaries. I only have one kid, many of my colleagues have two or more. I only have a bachelor's degree, many of my colleagues have a master's or higher and the additional debt that comes with that. My wife works at a job that pays as well as mine, many of my colleagues are the principal earners for their families. We don't yet have parents who need our financial assistance, many of my colleagues are not so lucky.

Many of my colleagues are in lower graded positions where the pay is dramatically lower. Our secretaries cap out at the same pay grade I started in. Our more skilled administrative support staff might get two or 3 grades higher, but still cap out at salaries below the median average for Boston.

We also get graded lower than our DC counterparts. If I did my same job in DC, I would be a minimum of 1 grade higher and probably 2. That would be a $15-30k pay bump. My wife likes it here, so we stay but we're not getting rich.

And don't forget that we had several years of pay freezes and furloughs in the not too distant past. Those pay hits accumulate over time. I'd probably be making another $500 a month if we hadn't had pay freeze after pay freeze.

So yes, I can miss a paycheck because I'm far enough along in my career to be secure. But by no means everyone I work with is the same situation. Younger workers, lower graded workers, workers with only one income, workers supporting multiple kids and/or providing for their parents... They're all hurting. Federal employees in certain positions can do pretty well after many years, but we start out very low.


As a retired fed...

... I feel very sad and sorry for all furloughed (and working without pay) federal employees. I went through several of these, and always found them quite upsetting. I fear the present shutdown will last another month. If so, it will be pretty catastrophic for many low and mid-level workers (and even for higher level ones with lots of student loan and/or mortgage expenses).

Cry me a river!

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Never ceases to amaze me how many people pull strings, make political contributions and compete for public jobs, only to complain about their lot in life until the day they retire. The AVERAGE federal employee makes over $84,000 annually with benefits that add another ~40k. Their advantage over the private sector is significant. If you're living paycheck to paycheck, the problem is with the person endorsing the check, not the people writing it.


Coast Guard base

is right down the street, and they are working without pay right now. This is shameful. They save lives and keep our shipping safe.



The bulk of fed workers are at lower pay grades. Point out one, just one TSA agent not living check to check. Ok, try a DOL, SEC, etc standard type worker. No luck there either, eh?


Apparently you don't know

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Apparently you don't know that there are a lot of federal employees who work in Boston and only make 32 to 42k a year (even with holiday and Sunday pay) and that some of them do in fact, live paycheck to paycheck. Others commute over an hour because they can't find affordable housing in the city. This really isn't a vacation because we are on call to come back within 24 hours of a budget being passed and honesty just want to do our jobs instead of being used as pawn.

I do agree with you about the contractors. However, compassion for the GS-4s to 9s would also be in order.


There are federal workers

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There are federal workers forced to work without pay !!
Free vacation ??
Get your facts in order!!
And a lot do live paycheck to paycheck !!

President Trump

Federal workers in Boston protest Trump shutdown;

Post Office Square for a protest against the Trump showdown.

President Donald Trump said he was going to do this all along. For years by my count.

Does this qualify as solely president Donald Trump's showdown or shutdown? At the very least it takes two to have a showdown.



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It qualifies as a temper tantrum.


No, both parties are

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No, both parties are unwavering and thus equally to blame. I'm not a huge Trump supporter, but I can say that he has been most consistent on this issue. UniversalHub - like 90% of media - has injected a leftist bias into its journalism. That's their prerogative but its not an object news source.


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Some points:

His party controlled both branches of Congress for two years. Why was he unable to get his own party to pay for this thing if it was so important?

An alleged master of the deal knows that deals take negotiations. He is not negotiating, he is throwing a temper tantrum: His $5.6-billion way or the highway. No possible compromise at all. When President Manbaby had his tete-a-tete with members of Congress the other day, Mick Mulvaney, his chief of staff, tried to get some compromise going. Trump told him he was a shithead. Or more precisely:

"Trump cut him off ... 'You just fucked it all up, Mick,'" the source recalled Trump saying. "It was kind of weird."

Finally, this isn't just Democrats fucking around with money. There are two actual issues here, one moral, one political. I won't get into the whys of Democratic opposition to Wall (I can, if you want), but, yes, there is a reason involving morality to oppose a wall. The other issue is a more political one: You don't negotiate with a lying blackmailer; if you give in, all that happens is he comes back for more.


For real. The Dems cave,

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For real. The Dems cave, give him the wall, what happens next time he wants another 5-8 billion dollars for something equally or more stupid? Anybody who's spent any amount of time with a two year old knows you don't reward tantrums.

not much of a protest

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i work near PO square and this protest never grew larger than the picture shows, nor where the loud.

Shutdown protest

It was 4 times larger when I was there.
It was very cold. I only found out about it the evening before.
Because it was so cold, the rally ended at 12:30 PM.
I thought more people would have been there as well.
We have the Women's March on Saturday. I expect they will be represented there as well.


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Moved to Milk Street.

That's just a branch post office

If you are in the area, the Very Large Helpful Post Office is tucked in behind South Station. If you head south on Summer Street from South Station, take a right just before the channel and the entrance will be on your right.

The PO on Milk St. (at Arch St.) is really not a good place for those who don't want to stand in a long line - it only has 3 clerk spots and the traffic can be heavy, especially since the automated stamp stuff rarely works.


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If you're IN south station, go out to the train tracks, and go to track 12/13, and walk around. There should be signs that will take you to the rear post office entrance.

Also there's a helpful postal truck sometimes parked outside Macy's in DTX


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Thank you folks!

There used to be a counter specializing in commemorative stamps!... moved?

Avoid the McCormack building if you can

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The guards like to give people a hard time. Even when I walk in knowing what to expect they create a new rule. Then they refuse to state what the policies are for entering the building. They take that one step further. Ask for basic information and they kick you out of the building.

The guards at this building are crazy with their self-importance.