Federal workers protest government shutdown in downtown Columbus


The government shutdown is now three weeks old. Saturday it will become the longest in US history. In downtown Columbus, about 40 federal workers who didn't get their paychecks Friday marched in front of Senator Rob Portman's office and chanted "take the vote."

Aaron Bankston is the president of Local 615 of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents about 400 Transportation Security Administration employees at airports throughout Ohio.

The TSA officer is also a father of six and says after 17-years on the job, his future is suddenly uncertain.

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"I got maybe $100 in my account right now, and that ain't going to get me nowhere for the next few months," said Bankston. "And now we're being used as pawns. That's how I look at it. I don't like to get into the politics of it, but it's kind of hard to stay away from it when it's deeply affecting you personally."

Bankston said TSA officers have been moved by travelers who have gone out of their way to shake a federal worker's hand, say thank you, even buy lunch.

Bankston said the gesture of gratitude has made working for free more bearable, but still, the bills are stacking up.

Federal workers said they're asking Senator Portman to urge Congress to take action to end the shutdown before many of them are forced to find new jobs.

"Let's vote. Let's do something. Let's get this done," said Bankston.