I am a 28-year federal employee representing nearly 400 Customs and Border Protection officers and non-uniformed employees in Maine, New Hampshire and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

We protect our national security, trade and commerce.

Customs and Border Protection has ordered officers to work without pay during the government shutdown. Some of my non-uniformed colleagues are furloughed.

National Treasury Employee Union Chapter 141 members I represent want to work. Serving the public is important to us.

It weighs heavily upon us, however, that we are being forced to work without pay and the adverse effect this will have on our families’ well-being and that of the communities where we live that rely on our incomes to support local economies.

This government shutdown is causing those I represent and our economy serious financial harm. Federal employee pay has been frozen for three years, and many federal employees suffered unpaid furlough days from sequestration earlier this year.

Though Congress historically has retroactively paid federal employees who have suffered wage losses during a shutdown, there are no guarantees in law that will occur this time.

NTEU members I represent want to work. We will work without pay for now because protection of our nation is far more important than the inability of Congress to do its job. The country is depending on us.

We, in turn, are depending on the country to help us persuade Congress to end the shutdown promptly so we can be properly compensated for our work, pay our bills and support our communities.

Alan D. Mulherin, president

NTEU Chapter 141

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