上海品茶工作室Babette

Worries remain for U.S. government contractors as shutdown ends

WASHINGTON ( ) – Minutes after President Donald Trump announced an end to the longest U.S. government shutdown in history on Friday, Yvette Hicks’ phone started ringing.

“I had bill collectors calling me back-to-back-to-back wondering when I could start making a payment arrangement,” she said, recalling how her mood quickly changed from excitement back to worry.

Hicks, 40, a security guard at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, is one of thous,上海品茶会所Faith,ands of federal gove,上海品茶群二维码Talon,rnment contractors who do not expect to be paid for the month of work they missed during the 35-day partial shutdown – and who remain at risk if Trump and lawmakers fail to reach a more lasting agreement beyond the current three-week deal to reopen the government.

Trump, who had demanded Democrats agree to fund construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border before he would agree to reopen the government, has signed legislation guaranteeing back pay for 800,000 federal employees affected by the shutdown.

Contractors, however, were not included, leaving many worried they won’t recover their losses.

Without a paycheck, Hicks began rationing her children’s asthma medication, considered cashing in a life insurance policy and prayed every day she could keep her family from becoming homeless again.

“I promised them that we would never suffer like that again,” Hicks said in an interview at her home on Friday, crying as she recalled the three years she and her four children spent without a home.

‘NO STABILITY’

It is not clear how many federal government contract workers there are, though some estimates run into the millions.

An official with the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, which represents Hicks and nearly 700 other contractors, mostly security guards and janitors in Washington, said those members are among the lowest paid workers in the federal government.

“These are not folks who can afford to miss a paycheck,” said Alison Hirsch, the unit’s vice president. “These are not folks who are making enough money to have a robust savings account. It can permanently alter their credit scores, their ability to support themselves.”

When Hicks reports to work on Tuesday, it will be the first time she has been able to wear her uniform since she was hired in late December. Her first day was scheduled for Jan. 1, the same day the Smithsonian, which oversees the space museum and several others in Washington, closed due to a lack of funding.

With a book titled “Prayers for Difficult Times” on the sofa beside her, Hicks tearfully described giving her 8-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter smaller doses of their asthma medicine to make it last longer, while limiting how much time they ran and spent outside in the cold.

In a statement issued before Friday’s deal was reached, her employer, Allied Universal, said it would “provide vacation buyback for accrued time,” which is unlikely to help new hires like Hicks. It also said it provided letters to furloughed employees who were seeki上海品茶工作室ng to avoid late fees from creditors.

Wi,上海品茶微信Kaia,th bills piling up and uncertainty over whether the government will still be open beyond Feb. 15, Hicks said she still worries about becoming homeless again.

“There’s no stability,” she said. “How long will the government be shut down again if Trump doesn’t get what he wants?”

China says it welcomes U.N. to visit Xinjiang via proper procedures

BEIJING ( ) – China said on Monday it would welcome U.N. officials to its far western region of Xinjiang if they follow the proper procedures, amid ,专门哟啪的微信群Gabrielle,global concern over Beijing’s de-radicalization program there.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kangm asked at a regular briefing about reports that China had invited UN experts to Xinjiang, said that all parties, including the U.N., were welcome, as long as they respected appropriate travel procedures.

U.N. officials should also “avoid interfering in domestic matters” and adopt an objective and neutral attitude, he added.

The top U.N. human rights official, Michelle Bachelet, in December said her office was seeking access to Xinjiang to verify “worrying reports” of re-education camps holding Muslim minorities, including the Turkic speaking Uighurs.

In上海品茶QQ August, a U.N. human rights panel sa,上海外卖品茶群Octavia,id it had received credible reports that a million or more Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang were being held in what resembled a “massive internment camp”.

In a rare move, a group of 15 Western ambassadors in Beijing, spearheaded by Canada, have sought a meeting with the top official in the region, Communist Party boss Chen Quanguo, for an explanation of alleged rights abuses against Uighurs.

Beijing has launched an increasingly active publicity campaign to defend its actions in Xinjiang in the face of an outcry from activists, scholars, foreign governments and U.N. rights experts.

In the last two weeks, the Chinese government has arranged for diplomats from 12 non-Western countries to visit the region, as well as organizing a trip for a small group of reporters, including , to three facilities, which it cal,上海品茶工作室Nadia,led vocational education training centers.

In the centers, Uighur students learned in Mandarin about the dangers of extremist thought and sang and danced for reporters, including a rendition in English of “If You’re Happy and You Know it, Clap Your Hands”.

Xinjiang officials told on the trip that the de-radicalization program had been highly successful but that fewer people would be sent through the system in future.

last year reported on harsh extrajudicial detentions and interrogations at the camps, which are at odds with Beijing’s claims, and took pictures of guard towers and barbed wire surrounding some. (tinyurl.com/y9zzouss)

Scroll to top