Furloughed workers protest in Beaufort - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Civilian furloughed workers protest in Beaufort

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Furloughed employees protest outside of the Beaufort City Hall. Furloughed employees protest outside of the Beaufort City Hall.
Furloughed employees protest outside of the Beaufort City Hall. Furloughed employees protest outside of the Beaufort City Hall.
Furloughed employees protest outside of the Beaufort City Hall. Furloughed employees protest outside of the Beaufort City Hall.
BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) -

Most furloughed civilian employees are wondering what to do next as they wait for lawmakers to reach a deal.

In the Lowcountry, some are taking their frustrations out in the streets. Their message was clear.

About a dozen members in the local American Federation of Government Employees union protested in front of Beaufort City Hall Thursday, letting drivers know how they feel.

And it seems a lot of them would agree.

"Obamacare, Affordable care, whatever you want to call it, we didn't have anything to do with it," said Jonathan Fritz, a furloughed employee.

Fritz is a combat vet who spent three and a half years working at Parris Island's Facilities and Maintenance Department.

"I'm not looking for a handout, I'm looking to go to work and do my job for 40 hours a week and I just wish Congress would work for 40 hours a week, maybe they might get something done," he said.

"I think it's unfortunate that these individuals here today are subject to politicians in Washington, DC unable to get their act together but I think it's important to get our nation's fiscal house in order," said South Carolina State Senator Tom Davis.

The protestors say they already faced one furlough back in July that lasted six weeks. And they just got their first full paycheck last month. Now they don't know when their next one will come.

"I'm the breadwinner of my family, I had one of my kids ask me, 'Dad, what are you going to do?' And I told him, 'Ain't anything I can do," said Ronald Grant, another furloughed employee from Parris Island.

"What do you tell your creditors? You know, what do you tell your mortgage people? These bills are still here and they still exist. We can't give them an IOU," said Gloria Russell, a furloughed worker from the Marine Corps Air Station.

They're clinging to the hope that congress will act soon to save their livelihood.

The Beaufort AFGE union says they will plan another protest as early as next week if the furlough continues.

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