FCC Cafeteria Employees Say They Were Nearly Ruined By The Shutdown (HBO)

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history cost the economy $11 billion dollars, according to a report yesterday from the Congressional Budget Office — and the agency expects $3 billion of that won’t ever be recovered, even after workers cash their back pay.

This is what it looks like to come back from a 35 day unpaid forced vacation.

Jessica Rosenworcel is one of 4 commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission. She and her fellow commissioners, including Chairman Ajit Pai, oversee the agency. Rosenworcel let VICE News document the first day back at work for her staff and other employees at the agency.

The FCC has just over 1,400 employees and most of them were deemed “non-essential” during the shutdown. During the shutdown, The FCC was able to continue it’s planned 28 GHz spectrum auction, but they were not able to take on many of their regulatory functions.

FCC staff will get back pay for the time they were furloughed, but government contract workers like FCC cafeteria employees will not.

One contract worker we spoke to said he had seven bounced checks during the shutdown. “One check charged $35 [in overdraft fees]. Seven charged $210,” Kevin Lee told VICE News.

Another employee, who works at the cafeteria with her husband, said she only ate ramen noodles during the shutdown.

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