Maureen Smith, a technician at the Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township, has worked for four weeks with no paycheck.
“This weekend my father bought us food. My mother put gas in my car,” Smith said. She told a roomful of fellow workers — furloughed and unpaid because of the government shutdown — her biggest fear: “I don’t get my paycheck for a second time. That’s when the ‘what ifs’ become reality. What we have — me and my husband have — in savings is going to be gone. How am I going to buy diapers?” Smith said.
“I’m very frustrated because, to me, you’re holding my paycheck hostage for something that has absolutely nothing to do with me,” said Natalie Cole-Warters, an employee of the Fairton Federal Correctional Institution.
As of January 17, 1,000 federal employees in New Jersey had applied for unemployment benefits.
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