The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, is monitoring the budget process as Congress works on a path that would fund the federal government past this Saturday, Sept. 30. To date, an agreement has not been reached, and a partial or full government shutdown could begin at midnight Saturday.

Each federal agency develops its own shutdown plan and identifies which activities can continue until the shutdown ends. Since agencies have to stop many of their activities, some federal employees are furloughed, meaning federal employees don’t report to work. However, a supermajority of metal trades wage-grade employees are considered to be essential or excepted employees and are required to continue to work during the shutdown. Furloughed and excepted employees who have to report to work aren’t paid during a shutdown. However, the law known as the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act guarantees and requires that all furloughed workers who did not report to work and excepted employees who worked without pay, will be paid after the shutdown ends

The Metal Trades Department is no stranger to negotiations on Capitol Hill and the affiliates which comprise the department realize that uncertainty can be distracting and stressful. However, our department and federal employee councils have weathered these situations before. In leading up to and in the event of a shutdown, the department will make every effort to keep each and every council, affiliate and bargaining unit member up to date in real time. The department will keep you posted on any and all developments through email communication and the use of our website.

On behalf of the Executive Council and its affiliated International unions and staff, I thank you for continuing to stay focused on the important national security work performed by our affiliate metal trades members.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at your convenience. I can be reached by email at or by telephone at 202-302-1651.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

9-27-23 Impending Government Shutdown_Effect on Federal Government Employees