Feedback: Local Federal Workers Fear Another Shutdown

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For the first time in 16 days, all Federal employees were back at work Thursday.

Wednesday night's passage of a continuing resolution ended the government shutdown.

North country residents are nearly unanimous in deciding where to put the blame.

"They (members of Congress) don't get paid for having done this to us," said Evie Benson.

"You may understand from the way I talk that I'm actually English. We have a Parliamentary system. We don't have any of this crap that you have in America," said Rob Gayfer.

For the first time in over two weeks, people visiting the Social Security office in Watertown could receive the full list of services.

Replacement Social Security and Medicare cards went out for the first time Thursday.

Workers at the St. Lawrence Seaway in Massena, where there were no furloughs, went to work knowing that they'd receive their next paycheck with back pay included.

Civilians have been back at Fort Drum for over a week now.

They too know that they'll receive full back pay when they get their next paycheck next Friday.

But nobody in the union office is celebrating.

"We're not really out of the woods yet. It in and of itself creates anxiety because we may go through this one more time," said Loren Zeilnhofer of American Federation of Government Employees Local 400 at Fort Drum.

That's what will happen if Congress fails to avoid another shutdown on January 16.

The only reason furloughed workers at Fort Drum went back to work before the shutdown ended was because the Pay Our Military Act allowed the Secretary of Defense to make that happen.

After Wednesday night's agreement, the Pay Our Military Act disappears.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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