Local workers feel the pinch as government shutdown continues

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Local workers feel the pinch as gov't shutdown continues. Watch this report from Action News at 4pm on January 11, 2019.

Some 800,000 federal workers went without a paycheck Friday as the government shutdown continued.

President Trump held a meeting with state, local, and community leaders as he pushes his plan to fund a wall at the border.

He repeated his plan to declare a national emergency but said he's not doing it quite yet.

Trump said he wants to work things out with Congress, but there's no compromise in sight.

The shutdown is poised to last through the weekend - which will make it the longest in U.S. history.

Some of those furloughed federal workers are from the Philadelphia area, and they're hoping lawmakers and the president can bring the shutdown to an end.

"I filed for unemployment a few days ago. I don't know how long that might take," said Helen McKenna, a National Parks Service worker who is stationed near Independence Hall.

This self-described frugal person is trying to reduce her spending on focusing on needs, not wants, and is thinking about reaching out to creditors.

"I like paying off my credit cards. Now we're going to start dipping into debt again which, at my age, I don't want to do," she said.

Among her frustrations: a promise she made years ago to her grandson. If he did well in high school, Helen said she would take him to Hawaii.

He excelled, but now she can't commit.

"Frankly we are all devastated that we can't move ahead. If the shutdown continues were just going to have to scrap the plans for this year and I just feel really bad," Helen said.

At Philadelphia International Airport there are more than 300 entry-level TSA workers making about 15 dollars an hour.

On Friday, the head of their union scrambled to help get them essentials, reaching to a social service agency with a food bank.

"They were low on food, but they offered diapers and she is contacting other food banks and going to get back to me," said the president of Local 333 Joe Shuker.

While unemployment payments will cushion the blow for furloughed workers, it will not help those ordered to work during the shutdown, like TSA agents.

"TSA are not eligible because we are working," said Shucker. "Even though you don't get a paycheck."

Some banks and utility companies are offering to work with federal workers to manage payments through the shutdown.

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