The 2018-2019 Federal Government Shutdown

What is now the longest federal shutdown in history is having serious economic consequences for various aspects of our economy. From our furloughed sisters and brothers at 32BJ SEIU, AFGE, and other union members to impacts on the social services we provide in Pennsylvania, this needless shutdown must come to an end now.

As of January 17, 2019, we have not heard of any imminent impact to member jobs. We will notify you immediately if that changes.

However, the longer this manufactured crisis continues, the more likely there is to be an impact on state and county agencies, as well as nonprofits receiving federal dollars. Already, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has been compelled to issue February’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for February this week. Other programs may soon be adversely affected the longer this lasts.

This shutdown must end now! 


We ask that all members work to organize breakouts at your Shops starting Tuesday, January 22, 2019, and continuing each Tuesday until the federal government reopens. If you are a Steward in need of assistance organizing your breakout, please contact your Business Agent or complete this form.

Even if you cannot organize a breakout, we ask that you wear purple on Tuesday in solidarity with the working families who are unable to work, or who are working without pay. We also ask that you call your Congressperson, Senator, and the White House to demand that they reopen the government immediately.

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Other ways you can help:

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is working with stakeholders to get the word out to clients that the additional SNAP benefits they receive this month must last them until March. However, with those benefits being distributed this week, there is a short time frame to get the word out. If you work with clients that receive SNAP or know someone who receives these benefits, please consider sharing these flyers with them:
  • Speak out on social media, demanding an end to this shutdown. Let people know how the shutdown threatens to erode the safety net that you work to provide Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens.
  • Let us know how the shutdown is affecting you, or your agency. We have been working with partners in labor and the media to lift up these stories. Email us at Please note, your story will not be used without your explicit permission.

For more information:

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