by: Chris Legeros Updated:
BREMERTON, Wash. - When the federal government shut down on Tuesday, 3,500 workers at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard were sent home.
That's a third of the entire work force.
“To have this happen to us is really a very large slap in the face,” said marine mechanic, Sam Stuart.
Seven thousand workers are still on the job in the interest of national security, doing work on the aircraft carrier Stennis and two submarines. They are not getting paid until Congress appropriates cash for paychecks.
“It stinks,” said a utility worker at the yard, Steve Miller.
They are angry and they are frustrated.
Bruce Baillie blames Republicans for holding up the budget process by trying to do away with Obamacare, even though it's already the law.
“They're trying everything in their power to make it go away,” said Baillie.
Federal workers feel like they're caught in the middle.
“We’re a pawn, and unfortunately, we don't know how long we're going to be a pawn,” said Stuart.
They don't think it's fair. Federal workers haven't gotten a wage increase in three years.
Steve Miller said he was already furloughed for six days this year and now no one at the yard is getting a check.
"I don't think anybody should be treated this way by their government. We're forced to make decisions every day. I don't see why people in Congress can't just sit down and do it,” said Miller.