Organizing for action group rallies outside Knox federal office

Organizing for action group rallies outside Knox federal office

Posted:
A group of 10 to 15 people rallied outside the Social Security office in Knoxville Wednesday holding signs urging lawmakers to put a stop to the government shutdown. A group of 10 to 15 people rallied outside the Social Security office in Knoxville Wednesday holding signs urging lawmakers to put a stop to the government shutdown.
The shutdown has left Social Security offices with limited services. The shutdown has left Social Security offices with limited services.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A group of 10 to 15 people rallied outside the Social Security office in Knoxville Wednesday holding signs urging lawmakers to put a stop to the government shutdown.

"Not knowing when you're going to get that next pay check does affect the entire family," Renee Preciado said.

Preciado is a service representative at the Knoxville Social Security office and has worked there almost 14 years.

As a federal employee, Preciado has been working without pay for the past two days because Congress has yet to pass a federal budget.

"Things are very unclear right now and we just don't know which direction or how long this furlough will last." Preciado said.

"We want our representatives to sit down and negotiate something and stop closing the government down," president of the Knoxville/Oak Ridge Area Central Labor Council Suzanne Coile said.

The shutdown has left Social Security offices with limited services.

Jim Nelson is a senior from Oak Ridge and a retired engineer. Nelson has been looking into applying for Social Security benefits but recently he received a letter in the mail outlining the contingency plan for a government shutdown.

Nelson was told he won't be able to apply for Social Security benefits until a budget is passed.

"My application would not be processed," Nelson said.

The threat of a long-term shutdown is leaving Nelson worried about his income.

"I would have to dig down into my savings to a point where I don't know how I would eat," Nelson said.

Those with their paychecks in limbo echoed those same fears.

"How am I going to explain to the KUB bill, ‘Sorry I can't pay my utilities this month?'" Preciado said.

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