Protesters call for action on furloughed employees at Beaumont


POSTED: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 5:10pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 8:06pm

Day 2 of Government Shutdown, shuts out federal employees from work

More than 300 employees did not go to work on Wednesday at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center. With the uncertainty of when they're next paycheck will arrive, federal workers are concerned about how they will support their families.

The number of employees at Beaumont is just a fraction of federal employees in El Paso. In fact, the Sun City has been ranked as the 4th highest city with federal employees. As another government shutdown day looms over the country's head -- so does the worry that lawmakers won't come to a deal soon.

A co-worker greets Barbara Robbins and Paul Ferris, two Beaumont employees who were furloughed Tuesday. "There's no one there. Absolutely no one there. We all walked out yesterday at the same time and it was heartbreaking,” Barbara Robbins, who works in the Collections Department told us.

On Wednesday, they were protesting the government shutdown. "All federal employees took an oath to defend this nation and the way Congress is treating us is telling the nation, we don't care about you,” Paul Ferris a Medical Support Assistant said. Ferris estimates 300 employees did not walk through Beaumont's doors. "Congress is really screwing the pooch on this."

They can’t do their jobs and Ferris is afraid that patients are not receiving the best care. "They're disrespecting America by what they're doing because we can't take care of our patients."

Robbins is barely making ends meet. "It's affecting me really, really hard. It comes at a bad time for my family in particularly. My daughter just got diagnosed with breast cancer."

Even though there are only two workers protesting, Ferris wants everyone to know, "This is about you, about us, about we… not me."

Ferris explained they represent the 43,000 federal workers in El Paso. "I believe in the fight. I need my job,” Robbins explained.

There is some help for people like Ferris and Robbins. As we've reported Hyundai of El Paso is delaying lease payments for some affected families..

The YMCA is also doing their part. "Have a fun activity be with their family, for free,” Bill Coon the President and CEO of YMCA said. No membership fees for furloughed residents.

YMCA says all a person needs to do is bring in their email or letter showing they've been furloughed. The protesters out at Beaumont also want residents to call their lawmakers to urge them to come to a deal soon.

Lawmakers – 888-775-3148
President Barack Obama 202-456-1111

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