Government shutdown turns prison guards into Uber drivers (HBO)

  • published: Jan. 08, 2019
  • Views: 19400

FRESNO, Calif. – Aaron McGlothin, 43, works as a correctional officer at the Mendota federal prison in California. He had a stable career of several decades in correctional services. But with no pay in sight due to the government's closure, he began driving for Uber to make ends meet.

"It can be a little embarrassing," he told VICE News driving around Fresno in the rain on Saturday, looking for rides. "What's embarrassing is, it's like, well – you have a job, you know? And then, when people see that, they will realize that, uh, yes, you have a job, but you do not get a salary. "

It's a slow day, and after two hours, Ubering McGlothin earns less than $ 10 – but at this point everything is worth it.

"I live by paycheck, pay check," he said. "I have to have food on my table. I have to have gas in my tank to go to work because I am not paid. I must have heat, my lights must be on. I must have my electricity. "

McGlothin is one of more than 40,000 staff members at the Federal Bureau of Prisons across the country, most of whom were found to be "essential" and were therefore forced to work without pay until the end of the closure. Bureau staff say they are already low morale after years of downsizing in their prisons, which means more detainees with fewer guards and equipment they are worried about are not able to protect them.

And now, they work without knowing when they will be paid.

"Everyone is scared. They do not know what's going on because it's different from 2013. We all lived through the 2013 shutdown and it was 16 days, "McGlothin said. "There was a diff …

Government shutdown turns prison guards into Uber drivers (HBO)

  • published: Jan. 08, 2019
  • Views: 19400

FRESNO, Calif. – Aaron McGlothin, 43, works as a correctional officer at the Mendota federal prison in California. He had a stable career of several decades in correctional services. But with no pay in sight due to the government's closure, he began driving for Uber to make ends meet.

"It can be a little embarrassing," he told VICE News driving around Fresno in the rain on Saturday, looking for rides. "What's embarrassing is, it's like, well – you have a job, you know? And then, when people see that, they will realize that, uh, yes, you have a job, but you do not get a salary. "

It's a slow day, and after two hours, Ubering McGlothin earns less than $ 10 – but at this point everything is worth it.

"I live by paycheck, pay check," he said. "I have to have food on my table. I have to have gas in my tank to go to work because I am not paid. I must have heat, my lights must be on. I must have my electricity. "

McGlothin is one of more than 40,000 staff members at the Federal Bureau of Prisons across the country, most of whom were found to be "essential" and were therefore forced to work without pay until the end of the closure. Bureau staff say they are already low morale after years of downsizing in their prisons, which means more detainees with fewer guards and equipment they are worried about are not able to protect them.

And now, they work without knowing when they will be paid.

"Everyone is scared. They do not know what's going on because it's different from 2013. We all lived through the 2013 shutdown and it was 16 days, "McGlothin said. "There was a diff …