OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — For federal workers at Oakland International Airport, news of the end of the longest government shutdown in the country’s history on Friday was met with relief, frustration and skepticism.
Early Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump yielded to growing pressure by reached an agreement with congressional leaders on a short-term deal to reopen the government for three weeks. Meanwhile, negotiations will continue over the president’s demands for money to build his long-promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
TSA agent Susan Braverman lamented the fact that the president’s plan to reopen the government would only guarantee that federal workers were paid for the next three weeks before facing the prospect of yet another shutdown.
“My fellow officers and I can’t afford to do this every three weeks. We need a better fix. We need a bi-partisan fix,” said Braverman.
Furloughed federal workers and members of local labor unions had scheduled a noontime press conference and protest outside the airport in Oakland. The president announced a temporary end to the shutdown about 45 minutes before that protest was scheduled to begin.
Nonetheless, workers marched through the ticketing area at the airport chanting, “No more shutdowns!”
“It’s very kind of scary. I’ve been trying really hard to save money for my first baby. And then it was like, ‘Oh wow, second week of not getting paid,'” said TSA agent Iveliz Rodriguez.
Rodriguez says the shutdown had upended her plans to save extra money in anticipation of the birth of her first child in March. She says thankfully she’s been able to lean on the support of her child’s father and her extended family during this difficult time.”
“I’m so excited that we’re going to get paid,” Rodriguez said.