WASHINGTON—The vast majority of federal workers oppose President Donald Trump’s partial shutdown of the federal government until Congress approves $5 billion to build a wall on the Mexican border, union leaders said.
Trump claimed on Christmas that many federal workers had told him “stay out until you get the funding for the wall,” but Paul Shearon, president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, called that “false.” “We have not heard from a single member who supports the President’s inaction,” Shearon said in a statement Dec. 26. “They unequivocally oppose using shutdowns as a means of resolving policy disputes,” said American Federation of Government Employees President Jeffrey David Cox Sr., whose union represents over 700,000 federal employees. “This is not about a wall, this is about 800,000 real people with real families and real bills to pay.” About 380,000 federal workers have been furloughed since Dec. 22, and 420,000 deemed “essential” have been required to work without pay—including federal prison guards and air-traffic controllers. “How would you feel if you weren’t being paid by your employer?” a longtime Environmental Protection Agency worker angrily told CBS 2 in Chicago. “I can’t stand it.”