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After Shutdown, Space Center Contract Workers Call For Back Pay


A deal Friday reopening the federal government doesn’t guarantee back pay for more than a million contract workers. Kennedy Space Center contract workers will rally Saturday in Titusville for back pay.

Around 1,800 Kennedy Space Center civil servants who were furloughed will receive back pay, but the center is supported by thousands of contract workers.

The local Union of Machinist and Aerospace Workers is holding a rally Saturday at its headquarters in Titusville, calling on lawmakers to support legislation that would ensure back pay for contract workers.

Local 2061 president Edward Grabowski said the union will also collect food for affected workers and monetary donations for an emergency fund.

“We’re establishing an account to disperse to our members of the need to pay off a bill or buy a medication because they’re not receiving money,” he said.

More than 90 percent of the union’s 700 members did not get a paycheck during the more than month-long shutdown.

“Our members have already lost per person thousands of dollars of income that they might not recoup," said Grabowski. This [shutdown] has tentacles that impacts the whole economy.”

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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