Unpaid Yankton workers adjust lifestyle - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Unpaid Yankton workers adjust lifestyle

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We reported Monday that employees at the Federal Prison Camp in Yankton have not been paid for their work for about a week.

We went to Yankton and saw that it's something the entire city is struggling with.

They tell us it's frustrating. Imagine having to go to your job like normal, not knowing when you might be compensated.

It's a harsh reality.

"The government saying IOU. "I owe you" this much you will get paid that but it's kind of hard to take that IOU to the grocery store and say can I buy some groceries with this," said Michele Kunkel, Local 4040 Union President.

"We'll, it's a big impact. The federal prison system is a huge employer, they pay good, it's good jobs, they're clean jobs, and it's just a great situation for Yankton," said Jack Nielsen, owner of Jo-Deans restaurant.

Jack Nielsen owns Jo-Deans restaurant in Yankton. He worries a continued shutdown could eventually hurt his business.

"There're probably not going to come out as often, they're not going to go to Walmart, they're not going to buy their gas. I mean it's not just me, it's everything. You'll drop down to just your bare basics. Pay your utilities, pay your grocery bills," said Nielsen.

"I personally bring my lunch from home because it gets expensive to eat out every day and I'm trying to cut corners where I can till I know that I'm going to have a paycheck," said Kunkel.

In the meantime some people in Yankton are losing faith in the government.

"And this is another reason why is far as I'm concerned the governments just dragging their feet as far as I'm concerned both sides are to blame," said Charles Denzin, who lives in Yankton.

And the longer the shutdown continues, the harder it will be for families to make due. As they cut back on resources, the effects will eventually trickle down.

"I really don't know how much I'm affected yet, but I do know that we will we will be affected, everyone will be affected," said Nielsen.

The community of Yankton is collectively hoping things will be resolved sooner than later.

"I would like to see a change but there's not going to be any change until they sit down and negotiate their problems out," said Denzin.

Kunkel says the Federal Prison Camp employees will continue to work, whatever the situation.

Yankton's City Manager Amy Nelson said in a statement, "Certainly, we are all supportive of our friends and neighbors that are employed by Federal agencies and of efforts to end the shutdown."

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