Furloughed NASA workers picket outside of Johnson Space Center

Print
Email
|

by Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on October 16, 2013 at 10:57 AM

HOUSTON -- After 15 days of the government shutdown, thousands of NASA employees and contractors are still waiting for answers.

They are pretty used to countdowns here and nobody likes this one.

"I just want to work," said Elizabeth LeBlanc. "I have dedicated my life to serving my country."

Like most of the thousands of NASA employees and contractors in and around the Johnson Space Center, LeBlanc is furloughed and has been for more than two weeks.

She has plenty to say while holding the bright yellow sign that said, "Will build rockets for food!"

"No one is talking to each other, no one is listening to each other, honestly at this point I think that it is everyone’s fault," LeBlanc said.

Bridget Broussard-Guidry, Houston area President of the AFL-CIO, organized the curbside protest outside the JSC gates.

"If we sat home and did nothing they would not know how we feel," Broussard-Guidry said.

For many workers at Johnson Space Center, this is not just a career, it is a calling, a lifelong endeavor, not just on one side of the family but both.

“My wife is a contractor and we are both furloughed right now," said long time NASA Engineer Dennis Lawler.

"It is frustrating. Very frustrating. My husband is a contractor also," LeBlanc said. "He has about one more week of work before he is also out of work."

There are still plenty of unanswered questions not least of which is will the NASA civil servants get back pay?

LeBlanc doesn’t have any answers just more questions.

"We may we may not. We have no way to pay our mortgages," LeBlanc said. "No way to pay our bills for our electricity for our food."

Not much optimism in the place.

"Maybe hoping someone will blink first. I don't see either side blinking right now. This is going to go right off the cliff," Lawler said.

Print
Email
|