Shutdown Forces Thousands of Arsenal Employees out of Work - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Shutdown Forces Thousands of Arsenal Employees out of Work

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The government shutdown forced at least 2,500 Rock Island Arsenal employees out of work Tuesday, an Arsenal official said.
 
The Arsenal is the largest employer in the Quad Cities.
 
KWQC-TV6 sat down with one of those employees Tuesday to find out how the shutdown was affecting her.
 
Arsenal employee Rebecca Meeke of Davenport said she showed up to work this morning. Then a couple hours later, she and other employees received letters sending them home.
 
"The first thing I told everyone at work was go to the unemployment office," Meeke said. "Get signed up. We've been laid off. No fault of our own. Go sign up."
 
Meeke said she herself immediately began the process to file for unemployment. The single mother of two said she is determined not to fall into the same situation she fell into when she was laid off back in 2008.
 
Along with filing for unemployment, Meeke said she will be driving less to cut down on fuel costs, saving leftovers for her family, and searching for temporary work – a requirement to file for unemployment.
 
"It's putting a freeze on - am I going to be able to buy Halloween costumes for my kids? How much more can I help my mom who just lost my dad in march?
 
Meeke said it's been a tough year for her family and the shutdown isn't making it any easier. She said it's frustrating not knowing how long it might be until she gets some form of income.
 
We asked Meeke what message she would like to send to lawmakers if she could.
 
"Work together," she said. "I'm the government. Everyone on my street's the government. We voted you in, we can vote you out. How badly do you want to keep your job?"
 
No matter how long the shutdown lasts, members of Congress will continue to get paid. Meanwhile, Meeke is left without work and a paycheck – waiting to get back to work at the job she says she loves.

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